Truth, Understanding, Insight

Times Appointed Part 1

20th August 2009, mgh,hej


4) Daniel 8: the 2,300 years

Daniel is given a vision he does not understand of a ram and a goat with a horn that becomes 4 horns. (Horns signify rulership as in a herd of goats, horns are used to estabish leadership). Then from one of those 4 horns,

came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land (Israel). And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
Yea, he magnified even to the prince of the host,and by him the daily was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily by reason of transgression, and
it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred evening / morning;...
then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (Dan 8:9-14)

Normally 2300 days is a short period of 6.38 years, yet Daniel is told,

The vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. (Daniel 8:26).

This indicates that the start time of the vision of the evening/ morning would be a long time in the future. A period of a mere 6.38 years of being 'trodden under' after a long time in the future is hardly worthy of comment, and it doesn't match a long period of trial. The 2300 days is therefore 2300 prophetic days (as Ezekiel 4:6 shows) which is 2300 years. They are years of sorrow as evening/ morning indicates a 'night'. The 'night' where the 'little horn' stamps on Daniel's people.

The 'vision' of the 2300 days is not the whole but only one part of what Daniel saw. Daniel was told the 'ram' he saw was the Persian Empire. This came into existence in Daniel's day, so it was not many 'days' (years) away. The 'goat' (Grecia) that takes on the 'ram'(Persia) is not the focus, but just one part of it- the 'little horn' that comes up is the focus. Note how the goat is introduced and within one verse it is fully described, however half the chapter is devoted to what the 'little horn' does.

In addition the 'vision' features 3 things: 1. the entity that takes away the daily, 2 the entity that causes desolation due to transgression and 3. the entity that treads the sanctuary (or holy) underfoot. From the time the entity is little to the time it waxes great until the end of its treading underfoot is 2300 years.

Some have thought to date the 'vision' from the coming of the goat with the great horn, that is Alexander of Macedon. He steps onto the scene 333BC with the success in the battle of Issus. Adding 2300 years gives 1967. This seems quite neat, being the end of the nations' rule of Jerusalem which occurred in 1967. However our calendar is not right.

From 1BC to 1AD there was a year lost as there was no year zero. So we could date the 2300 years from the year Alexander fought Tyre and Gaza in 332BC. But this is still not right.

In 525AD the Scythian scholar Dionysius Exiguus when making Easter tables for Pope John I, first dated events from the birth of the Lord, which he made the year 1. The scholar made a major error. As they used Roman numerals and zero was not used in mathematics, Dionysius missed out the twelve months of year 0 by starting at year 1. But the real error was that Dionysius calculated Christ's birth as 4 years after the death of King Herod! Historians agree Jesus was born between 6 and 4 BC. Therefore the 2nd millennium since the birth was in 1996 or 1997, not the year 2000.

Diagram showing the 4 lost years about the Gregian year 'AD'

Due to this fact being agreed, to find the number of years that have elapsed from an event in 333BC to a year in the in Gregorian calendar we must add 4 years. So the battle of Issus dated 333BC was 337 years before the Gregorian year 'AD' and the battle for Tyre in the following year was 336 years before the Gregorian year 'AD'. From those dates adding 2300 years comes to 1963 or 1964, years of no particular distinction.

The latest date for Alexander's campaigns relating to the Middle East is 329BC when he finishes his conquest of the Persians, that is when the Persian 'ram' has been 'cast to the ground and stamped on'. This is 333 years before our year AD, and 2300 years later is 1967. Interestingly, Alexander dies in Babylon in 323BC, which is 327 before Christ. Adding 2300 years to 327BC comes to the common year 1973, the year of the Yom Kippur war, the last war fought over the holy land. The start of the vision period is therefore when Alexander has finished his work. This opens the way for the 4 horns and the little horn that comes from one of them.

However, the prophecy requires that at the end of of the 2300 year period the sanctuary, or holy, be made righteous (as the word cleansed means).

There have now been many years since 1973 and the holy people have not been made righteous. If the start of the period is from when the 4 horns emerge, which is 301BC then the 2300 ends in 1985, a year of little significance.

What if the 2300 was dated from the emergence of the Roman power from the Macedonian/Greek horn? We note that by 301BC that Rome had already begun to rise. See table (The adjusted date takes into account the 4 years lost at AD. Greek events are shown in italics)




End Date

343 -341

First Roman war of expansion




Latin war ends with states accepting Rome's rule. Historians date this as the start of Rome's rise


1958 -Parliament moves to Jerusalem (1957 treaty of Rome)


Plebian's rule in Roman senate




Alexander battles Persians-Granicus




Battle of Issus :Alexander arrives



The Prophecy Begins


Revolt quelled and City of Fondi added. Via Appia, began 312 BC, road from Rome to south Italy






Alexander's final conquest of Persians HERE the “ram” is dead!





2nd Samnite war Rome declared war on the Greek city of Naples,






Death of Alexander NOW the 4 “horns” begin




4 generals divide up Alexander's Empire after battle Ipsus


1985 (Israel ends war with Lebanon)


Macedon:King”the besieger”




Rome: war & diplomacy to gain allies to overcome the Samnites.


1985-1992 (intifada 1987/88 -91/93)


The Besieger and son Antigonus II conquer Athens and Greece. Antigonus II uses cunning dividing to rule with tyrants- leading to an easy capture later by Rome


2002 (battle for Jenin

2nd intifada 2002-6)


Rome Patrician/plebian aristocracy




Death Ptolomy K King of Macedon

Rome Battle of Asculum, Phyrrhic victory (Greekvirtual loss to Rome)




AntigonusII takes over as King of Macedon after defeating Gauls






End Phyrrhic war. 273 Rome's first colony built. Romanization of Greek Paestum. By 270 controlled Greeks in Italy & ruled all of Italy .

Antiochus I overruns Judea






260- 253

Antiochus II theos & Antigonus II

2nd Syrian war against Ptolomy



264- 254-241

Rome First punic war- 5 Greek cities join Rome (254)-end war

268-258 245




Greece conquered by Rome

Maccabean revolt from Antiochus

Rome takes over from Antiochus



We note there are many dates. But we see early, in 294BC, the emergence of a small power (or prophetic 'horn' as the horn of an ram or goat is used to establish its dominance).

Antigonus II who rules Macedon and who expands his empire, was a grandson of Antigonus, a general of Alexander (but not of the 4). Antigonus, after Alexander's death, claimed authority over Susa and Babylon. Antigonus was opposed by the four generals Cassander (son of Antipater the regent of Alexander's empire), Seleucus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus. Antigonus was defeated in 301BC, but his son Demetrius called 'the destroyer' survived and married Phila the sister of Cassander and daughter of Antipater (In 307 Demetrius was elevated to a tutelary deity by the Athenians and surnamed 'saviour' and in 294BC he killed the son of Cassander and assumed his role as one of the 4 horns). From this union of the descendants of Antigonus and Antipater comes Antigonus II.

Antigonus II, in effect, prepares Greece for the Roman takeover. He also defeats Rome's enemies. His reign is in parallel to the development of Rome and shares its character, the two powers together in the region later become one Greco/Roman power.

Returning to the passage to combine the information and the history:

The ram which thou saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia (one higher than the other, the higher came up last. And the ram pushing westward, Northward and Southward.. and he became great).

And the rough goat (came from the West) is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king (Alexander 336AD-). (he was moved with choler and smote the ram, and brake his two horns and set out to conquer the Achaemenid Persian Empire defeating Darius III in 333BC : and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, (conquering Persian territory in Egypt where he was proclaimed son of Zeus) and stamped upon him (returning to battle with Darius for Babylon and Susa: then capturing the Persian gates Persepolis and burning the palace of Xerxes) and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand (Alexander pursued Darius again but Darius was captured by his own kinsman, who killed him). The he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; (suddenly dying in Babylon 232BC)

Now that being broken, (for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven) whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power (after Ipsus 301BC Cassander [Grecian] , Seleucus [Persia], Ptolemy [Egyptian]and Lysimachus.).

In the next section we can see Daniel's concern, or why he fainted.

(out of one of them (the Grecian 4th) came forth a little horn (Rome), which waxed exceeding great, toward the south (Carthage in the Punic wars), and toward the east (Absorbing Antiochus and the Seleucid Empire), and toward the pleasant land, (Judea-Israel) And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven (Caesar); and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them (in conquering the holy). (Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down (in AD 70). And an host was given him (The Roman take over of Judea prospered) against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression (The ruling Jews had said let “his blood be upon us and our children”), and it cast down the truth to the ground (persecution of those that believed in Messiah); and it practised, and prospered.) (Rome prospered to become even greater, and this was taken over by Constantine)

And in the latter time of their (the little horn of the Grecian 'goat') kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full (of those who pervert the word of God who came out of but were not of the servants), king of fierce (strong) countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up (Constantine 'stood up' using oratory and his father's exploits after 306. In 310 he proclaimed he was descended from Emperor Claudius II as a hereditary king. He said he had seen vision of Apollo and Victory granting him laurel wreath, a saviour who would rule the world, as the poet Virgil foretold). And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power (he favoured the Christian Church who supported him): and he shall destroy wonderfully (Constantine claimed he saw visions, one to mark the sign of the cross on the shields in battle another of the cross in the sun, and another to make standards with the cross) and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people (He destroyed those who did not abide by the orthodoxy, upholding the Roman Church, warring against the Donatists. In 325 he summoned the Council of Nicaea, the first Ecumenical Council to defeat the 'heresy of Arianism' and he restricted the freedom of Jews prevented conversion to Judaism). And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand (He used propaganda); and he shall magnify himself in his heart (to determine the beliefs of Christianity), and by peace shall destroy many (his policy of conciliation to Christianity): he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes (He became an Anti-Christ); but he shall be broken without hand (Constantine died of sickness before he could go into battle against Persia- his successor will also be destroyed suddenly). (Daniel 8:20-25)

The 'king' in this passage is not a single king- Constantine was the first of many, as many others modelled themselves on him. He is credited with beginning the Holy Roman Empire, and no less than 10 emperors were called the 'new Constantine'. Charlemange used images of Constantine to imply he was his successor. The end of the little horn is the same as the end of the vision in Daniel 2, when the image is destroyed by the stone cut 'without hands'. This indicates that the 'king' is not destroyed finally until the return of Messiah.

Downtreading the Holy

The 'little horn' that Daniel sees arises attacks and stamps on the sanctuary. Alexander does not downtread the sanctuary or the holy land. He 'stamps upon' the Medo-Persian 'ram' (three times). He demolishes Tyre according to prophecy and also Gaza. However, according to Josephus when he comes to Jerusalem he is met by the high Priest and a company of priests who showed him the prophecies of Daniel predicting the rise and fall of the Persian Empire. Alexander therefore does not destroy Jerusalem. And it seems he did not devastate the Holy Land (Tyre and Gaza were not part of the Holy Land).

However, in the struggle for control of the empire one power in particular does down-tread the holy people. It does not emerge at first. The first of the 4 generals to occupy Judea was Ptolemy in 318BC. He did not fight to gain Judea, but rather became a protector ruler. He withdrew in 313BC rather than fight to retain it. He moves back in the next year when others defeat Antigonus, who had made a claim to the area, but withdrew again. He repeats this in 302BC. After Antigonus is defeated in 301BC and the 4 generals call themselves kings, one of the 4, Seleucus, though he was assigned Judea in the break up of the empire, he initially accepts that Ptolemy occupies Judea as he focuses on Babylon.

This does not last, the Selucid Antiochus 1 (surnamed 'saviour' who marries Antigonus' grand-daughter) reasserts their claim to Judea in 275BC and in a rapid advance overran Judea. This began the first Syrian war against Ptolomy II who reconquered the area by 271BC. Whereas the Ptolomies seem to have accepted local customs, the Selucid Antiochus promoted a the Greek (Hellenic) culture and sought to rule by enforcing his culture on all his subjects.

Antiochus II unites with Antigonus II (both descendants of Alexander's general Antigonus, who until the 4 stood up claimed all Alexander's empire). They also represented two 'horns', Antiochus from Seleucus who controlled the Persian part and Antigonus from Cassander who controlled the Greek part. Together in 260-1BC they take on Ptolomy II pushing his area of influence back towards Egypt. Antiochus II accepts the surname Theos or 'god'. His Selucid kingdom had a Greek character.

After beginning a campaign for Judea 223BC Antiochus III finally gains control of Jerusalem and Judea from Ptolomy V in 198BC. Antiochus assumed the title Basileus Megas (Greek for Great King). Some Jews denied their heritage and became Hellenized. When Antiochus Epiphanies came to power he sought to turn Jerusalem into a Greek city, and the Jews revolted. In revenge in 167BC he executed the leaders and Jewish sacrifice and feasts were forbidden, circumcision and ownership of the scriptures outlawed. Altars to Greek gods were set up in the city and Zeus was placed on the altar of the Temple. But by 168BC Antiochus Epiphanies was attacked by the Maccabeans in Judea and was held back from Egypt by the Romans, who at this point stepped in as the power of the region. In 165BC the Maccabees ritually cleansed the temple and by 152 BC had won control. This relative Jewish autonomy (self rule) lasted until 63 BC, when Pompey the Roman general captured Jerusalem and instituted Roman rule.

The vision speaks quite clearly of the little horn that would do these things coming from the goat, identified as Grecia. Rome did not start as the little horn, this was Antigonus II whose father had replaced the general Cassander (who he murdered). As Rome grew it absorbed the Greek states on Italian soil, then absorbed Greece and so came out of that 'horn'. At the same time Rome took on the role of Antiochus, for Rome took the Greek culture wherever it went.

The most famous event marking the change from Greek dominance to Roman dominance is the battle of Asculum in 279(283)BC. An early date for the cleansing of the sanctuary is therefore 2017 (being 2300-283). By 270(274) BC Rome had united Italy and was ready to begin conquest. By 264(268) BC Rome had clearly emerged as the power in the region having absorbed the Greek character of the 'goat' and grown as a 'horn'. The latest date for the cleansing of the sanctuary is therefore the 2300 years minus the 268 years which elapsed before the common era, which equals the common year 2032.

If dated from the beginning Judea's down treading, when the Selucid Antiochus 1 claimed Judea in a rapid advance in 271(275)BC, adding 2300 years gives 2021.

What if there is a period of time as the start to a period of the end?

After 2300 years the Holy is made righteous

After the end of the 2300 years the sanctuary shall be cleansed. However this is not about the physical temple as the word sanctuary (קדשׁ qôdesh) could also be translated 'Holy' or 'saints'. The word cleansed (צדק tsâdaq) is 'made right' or 'righteous'. After the end of 2300 years literally Daniel is told “and be-made-right(eous) saints”. Compare Ezekiel,

For I will .. gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean;.. will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:24-26)

With regards to the people of Daniel this process began again in the mid 1960's with the revival of Messianic Judaism, with the years 1973-75 marking a name change and a renewed vigour. Since 2007 they are beginning to make a mark in Israel itself. Also since 2004 there has been an increase of Jews searching the Hebrew scriptures in Israel.

The start of the 2300 years to the cleansing may not be a date but a period where the 'horn' of Rome grows. It could not be a little horn from one of the 4 horns, until after Alexander's death. The period of the end of the 2300 years starts therefore after 1973. The end of this period dated from the emergence of a little horn from one of the 4 horns (that of the Greek/Antigonus II) should be 2017- 2019. Dated from the emergence of Rome 2017, 2021/3 or 2032.

To continue Times Appointed Part 2