Resolving the Controversy

Over The Daily

“Let us read and study the twelfth chapter of Daniel. It is a warning that we shall all need to understand before the time of the end.”--15 MR 228 (1903). {LDE 15.4} 9And he said, go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”

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THE TRUTH IS  CAPABLE OF CONSTANT EXPANSION AND NEW DEVELOPMENT: “To say that a passage means just this and nothing more, that you must not attach any broader meaning to the words of Christ than we have in the past, is saying that which is not actuated by the Spirit of God. The more we walk in the light of truth, the more we shall become like Christ in spirit, in character, and in the manner of our work, and the brighter will the truth become to us. As we behold it in the increasing light of revelation, it will become more precious than we first estimated it from a casual hearing or examination. The truth as it is in Jesus is capable of constant expansion, of new development, and like its divine Author, it will become more precious and beautiful: it will constantly reveal deeper significance, and lead the soul to aspire for more perfect conformity to its exalted standard. Such understanding of the truth will elevate the mind and transform the character to its divine perfection.”— R& H, Oct. 21, 1890.

“It is impossible for any human mind to exhaust even one truth or promise of the Bible. One catches the glory from one point of view, another from another point; yet we can discern only gleamings. The full radiance is beyond our vision. {Ed 171.1} As we contemplate the great things of God’s word, we look into a fountain that broadens and deepens beneath our gaze. Its breadth and depth pass our knowledge. As we gaze, the vision widens; stretched out before us we behold a boundless, shoreless sea. {Ed 171.2} Such study has vivifying power. The mind and heart acquire new strength, new life.” {Ed 171.3}

Thus, to say that one view of the Daily is the only view and that other views are not broader and deeper views, is personal opinion that is not actuated by the Holy Spirit.

“Let us read and study the twelfth chapter of Daniel. It is a warning that we shall all need to understand before the time of the end.”--15 MR 228 (1903). {LDE 15.4} 9And he said, go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”

Question: Why would we have to read and understand the entire CHAPTER of Daniel 12 if the historic application was all there is to understand? If all the reading and understanding was already reached by our pioneers, the above counsel would be superfluous and there would be nothing further to gain by reading and studying the twelfth chapter of Daniel.

The SDA Bible Commentary concludes that it is an insolvent dilemma to determine whether the two events occur at the same time or that the daily occurs at a different time than the setting up of the abomination of desolation. There may be some differences in the end-time application versus the historic view.

Some believe that the Daily has to do with the heavenly Sanctuary work of Christ in finally eradicating sin and dealing with the sin that now enters the Sanctuary via prayers for forgiveness for sin. Some believe that view is totally errant. But such ones fail to see the broader view of the Daily, because the final end of the matter involves a complete cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary from all sin.

The Daily as Defined by SDA Pioneers

To Ellen White and the pioneers who followed her lead on this issue, the daily was pagan Rome which paved the way for papal Rome. Now there is a new view which is totally discounted by some factions.

The SDA Bible Commentary on the Daily:

Miller Takes Different View.—William Miller, founding father of the Millerite movement, introduced a completely different view. Combining the expression “the daily” in Dan. 8:11–14; 11:31; 12:11 with Matt. 24:15 and 2 Thess. 2:7, 8, he declared that the hindering power of pagan Rome must be taken out of the way before the papal mystery of iniquity would be revealed. Hence he concluded that the “daily” must be paganism, removed before the papacy could develop.


Note by Ron: I will here quote the above verses applied by William Miller. Click on any word for its meaning.


And shall also carry captives into Egypt their godswith their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of goldand he shall continue more years than the king of the north.


So the king of the south shall come into his kingdomand shall return into his own land.


10 But his sons shall be stirred upand shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly comeand overflowand pass throughthen shall he returnand be stirred up, even to his fortress.


11 And the king of the south shall be moved with cholerand shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the northand he shall set forth a great multitudebut the multitude shall be given into his hand.


12 And when he hath taken away the multitudehis heart shall be lifted upand he shall cast down many ten thousandsbut he shall not be strengthened by it .


13 For the king of the north shall returnand shall set forth a multitude greater than the formerand shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.


14 And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the southalso the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the visionbut they shall fall. Daniel 8:11-14.


And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice , and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. Daniel 11:31.


Note by Ron: If you will click on the words “shall take away” in the verse above (Daniel 11:31) you will find that they mean to set up. Amazingly, the abomination that makes desolate is planning to “SET UP” the daily sacrificial system again in a rebuilt third Temple in Jerusalem. In the historic SDA view of the Daily, this meant the setting up of paganism (pagan Rome) and the removal of pagan Rome to establish papal Rome. There could be no greater abomination of desolation than the setting up of animal sacrifices again when that typical system met its antitype in Christ’s sacrifice for man’s sins. In addition, the removal of God’s Sabbath to “SET UP” Satan’s counterfeit, Sunday, will constitute the abomination of desolation. And the SDA church will instruct its members to keep Sunday, thus committing the transgression of desolation to give its host (membership) to the little horn power.

This scenario casts dispersion on the current New View by the SDA church, that the Daily is the daily ministration of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary, for the removal of the daily is accompanied by the setting up of the abomination of desolation, and there is no such abomination associated with the Heavenly Sanctuary!


Number 7311


ruwm {room}

Word Origin:

a primitive root



Part of Speech:


Usage in the KJV:

(lift 0, hold 0, etc...) up 63, exalt 47, high 25, offer 13, give 5, heave 3, extol 3, lofty 3, take 3, tall 3, higher 2, misc 24

Total: 194


1. to rise, rise up, be high, be lofty, be exalted

A. (Qal)

a. to be high, be set on high

b. to be raised, be uplifted, be exalted

c.  to be lifted, rise

B. (Polel)

a. to raise or rear (children), cause to grow up

b. to lift up, raise, exalt

c.  to exalt, extol

C. (Polal) to be lifted up


a. to raise, lift, lift up, take up, set up, erect, exalt, set on high

b. to lift up (and take away), remove

c.  to lift off and present, contribute, offer, contribute

E. (Hophal) to be taken off, be abolished

F.  (Hithpolel) to exalt oneself, magnify oneself

2. (Qal) to be rotten, be wormy

TDNT - Theological Dictionary of the New Testament 
TWOT - Theological Word Book of the Old Testament


Note by Ron: In Daniel 11:31, the words “take away” IN HEBREW MEAN: cuwr {soor} take away which means “set up” in Hebrew as we saw in Daniel 8:31.


31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice , and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.


Number 5493


cuwr {soor} or suwr (Hos 9:12) {soor}

Word Origin:

a primitive root



Part of Speech:


Usage in the KJV:

(put 0, take 0, ...) away 97, depart 76, remove 35, aside 29, take 14, turn 12, turn in 9, take off 6, go 3, put 3, eschewed 3, misc 14

Total: 301


1. to turn aside, depart

A. (Qal)

a. to turn aside, turn in unto

b. to depart, depart from way, avoid

c.  to be removed

d. to come to an end

B. (Polel) to turn aside

C. (Hiphil)

a. to cause to turn aside, cause to depart, remove, take away, put away, depose

b. to put aside, leave undone, retract, reject, abolish

D.(Hophal) to be taken away, be removed

TDNT - Theological Dictionary of the New Testament 
TWOT - Theological Word Book of the Old Testament


In Daniel 8:11, the words “taken away” mean lifted up, exalted. So paganism (the daily) was taken away in order to lift up or exalt papalism, the abomination that makes desolate. In the end-time application, not only papalism is exalted, but the worship of Lucifer via Free Masonry, which is symbolized by the 10 horned beast of Revelation 17.


111 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundredand ninety

 days. Daniel 12:11.


Ellen White said the word sacrifice is supplied and does not belong in the text. This is signified by being italicized in Scripture. Below is the meaning of “taken away” in Daniel 8:11, which is: ruwm {room} or to exalt.


Number 7311


ruwm {room}

Word Origin:

a primitive root



Part of Speech:


Usage in the KJV:

(lift 0, hold 0, etc...) up 63, exalt 47, high 25, offer 13, give 5, heave 3, extol 3, lofty 3, take 3, tall 3, higher 2, misc 24

Total: 194


1. to rise, rise up, be high, be lofty, be exalted

A. (Qal)

a. to be high, be set on high

b. to be raised, be uplifted, be exalted

c.  to be lifted, rise

B. (Polel)

a. to raise or rear (children), cause to grow up

b. to lift up, raise, exalt

c.  to exalt, extol

C. (Polal) to be lifted up


a. to raise, lift, lift up, take up, set up, erect, exalt, set on high

b. to lift up (and take away), remove

c.  to lift off and present, contribute, offer, contribute

E. (Hophal) to be taken off, be abolished

F.  (Hithpolel) to exalt oneself, magnify oneself

2. (Qal) to be rotten, be wormy

TDNT - Theological Dictionary of the New Testament 
TWOT - Theological Word Book of the Old Testament



15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Matthew 24:15.


In Daniel 8:11, the words


For the mystery of iniquity doth already workonly he who now letteth will let , until he be taken out of the way.

And then shall that Wicked be revealedwhom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouthand shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 2 Thes. 2:7, 8.


“A vital factor in this view was his interpretation of the ten-horned beast of Rev. 13 as pagan Rome, with one of its pagan heads wounded to death and replaced by the civil power of the papacy—this last head exercising its power 42 months, or 1260 years. He made the two-horned beast (his “image beast”) the papal ecclesiastical power, but applied the number 666 to the first beast as the years of pagan Rome’s dominance. This period Miller dated from the humiliating “league” (Dan. 11:23) of the Jews with the Romans, which he mistakenly thought occurred in 158 b.c.,5 which period would extend to the “downfall” of paganism. This he obtained by simply subtracting 158 (b.c.) from 666, which gave a.d. 508. This Miller believed to be the date of the conversion of the last of the pagan kings. And this act, he reasoned, was what took away the “daily” of paganism (Miller, Evidence From Scripture and History, 1836, pp. 36, 50, 56–62, 71).

This concept, differing radically from the historic Reformation view, was held by nearly all the Millerites. But by 1842 some of them came to dissent from some of Miller’s positions. Evidence for the event that he dated A.D. 508 was questioned by his colleague Charles Fitch as early as 1838, in his first letter to Miller (S. Bliss, Memoirs of William Miller, p. 129).

Six months prior to the October, 1844, disappointment, Miller publicly stated that his brethren had not generally agreed with him that the 666 meant 666 years of pagan Rome (Midnight Cry, Feb. 22, 1844, p. 242). The chart adopted by the Millerite General Conference of May, 1842, omits the number 666 as the years of paganism, and “the daily” as paganism.


Crosier and the Reformation View.In 1846 appeared O. R. L. Crosier’s article embodying the results of his joint study with Hiram Edson and F. F. Hahn. Though not defining the “daily,” it is built on the premise that the sanctuary to be cleansed (Dan. 8:11–14) was the heavenly sanctuary, involving Christ’s two-fold ministry based on His one and all-sufficient sacrifice:

“What was this that Rome and the apostles of Christianity should jointly pollute? This combination was formed against the ‘holy covenant’ and it was the Sanctuary of that covenant they polluted; which they could do as well as to pollute the name of God; Jer. 34:16; Ezek. 20; Ma[l]. 1:7. This was the same as profaning or blaspheming his name.

“In this sense this ‘politico-religious’ beast polluted the Sanctuary (Rev. 13:6.) and cast it down from its place in heaven, (Ps. 102:19; Jer. 17:12; Heb. 8:1, 2) when they called Rome the holy city (Rev. 21:2) and installed the Pope there with the titles, ‘Lord God the Pope,’ ‘Holy Father,’ ‘Head of the Church’ &c., and there, in the counterfeit ‘temple of God’ he professes to do what Jesus actually does in his Sanctuary; 2 Thes. 2:1–8. The Sanctuary has been trodden underfoot (Dan. 8:13,) the same as the Son of God has; Heb. 10:29”

(Crosier, The Day-Star Extra, Feb. 7, 1846, p. 38).

Later, moving toward the Reformation view, Crosier defined the “daily” as a doctrine—“that Christ ‘was crucified for us’”—which was taken away “from him [Christ] and replaced by the Papacy “with its human merit, intercessions and institutions in place of Christ’s” (Day-Dawn, March 19, 1847, p. 2).


White on Crosier’s View.—James White accepted Crosier’s 1846 view of the sanctuary trodden underfoot, but not his 1847 identification of the “daily.”

“We say, then, that the Sanctuary in heaven has been trodden under foot in the same sense that the Son of God has been trodden under foot. In a similar manner has the ‘host,’ the true church, also, been trodden down. Those who have rejected the Son of God have trodden him under foot, and of course have trodden under foot his Sanctuary. …

“The Pope has professed to have ‘power on earth to forgive sins,’ which power belongs alone to Christ. The people have been taught to look to ‘the man of sin,’ seated in his temple, or as Paul says—‘so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God,’ &c.—instead of looking to Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father, in the heavenly Sanctuary. In thus turning away from Jesus, who alone could forgive sins, and give eternal life, and in bestowing on the Pope such titles as MOST HOLY LORD, they have ‘trodden under foot the Son of God.’ And in calling Rome the ‘Eternal City,’ and the ‘Holy City,’ they have trodden down the City of the living God, and the heavenly Sanctuary. The ‘host,’ the true church that have looked to Jesus in the true Sanctuary for pardon of sins, and eternal life, has, as well as their Divine Lord and his Sanctuary, been trodden under foot” (The Review and Herald, Jan., 1851, pp. 28, 29).


White and other Seventy-day Adventist pioneers adopted Crosier’s view that the sanctuary trodden under foot (Dan. 8:13) was the one in heaven, yet held Miller’s view that the sanctuary cast down (Dan. 8:11) was a pagan sanctuary and that the “daily” was paganism (Joseph Bates, The Opening Heavens, 1846, pp. 30–32; J.N. Andrews, in The Review and Herald, Jan. 6, 1853, p. 129; Uriah Smith, ibid., Nov. 1, 1864, pp. 180, 181; James White, ibid., Feb. 15, 1870, pp. 57, 58, in a series “Our Faith and Hope,” which was reprinted as Sermons on the Coming … of … Christ).


Smith Restates Miller’s View.—Uriah Smith’s statement of the prevailing view appears thus in the first edition (1873) of his book on Daniel (page 94):


“The little horn [of Daniel 8] symbolized Rome in its entire history, including the two phases of pagan and papal. These two phases are elsewhere spoken of as the ‘daily’ (sacrifice is a supplied word) and the ‘transgression of desolation;’ the daily (desolation) signifying the pagan form, and the transgression of desolation, the papal. In the actions ascribed to this power, sometimes one form is spoken of, sometimes the other. ‘By him,’ the papal form, ‘the daily,’ the pagan form, ‘was taken away.’ Pagan Rome gave place to papal Rome. And the place of his sanctuary, or worship, the city of Rome, was cast down. The seat of government was removed to Constantinople. The same transaction is brought to view in Revelation 13:2, where it says that the dragon, pagan Rome, gave to the beast, papal Rome, his seat, the city of Rome, and power and great authority, the whole influence of the empire.”


The “New View.”—About the end of the century dissatisfaction with Smith’s exposition resulted in the rise of the view that the “daily” meant Christ’s priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, “taken away” by the substitution of an earthly priesthood and sacrifice. This “new view” was advocated by L. R. Conradi in Europe and by A. G. Daniells, W. W. Prescott, W. C. White, and others in America. Thus developed the two Seventh-day Adventist views6 of the “daily.”


VI. Progressive Accuracy in Dating of 70 Weeks


Early Christian Writers Compute.—Irenaeus alluded to “the sacrifice and the libation” taken away by Antichrist during the “half-week.” Tertullian (d. about 240) stated that the 70 weeks were fulfilled by Christ’s incarnation and death. However, he started this prophetic period with the first year of Darius, curiously continuing it to Jerusalem’s destruction under Titus. He declared the period was sealed by the first advent of Christ at the end of 62 ½ weeks.

Clement of Alexandria (d. about 220) likewise held that the 70 weeks included Christ’s advent, with the Temple built in the prophesied “seven weeks.” Judea was quiet during the “sixty and two weeks,” and “Christ our Lord, ‘the Holy of Holies,’ having come and fulfilled the vision of the prophecy, was anointed in His flesh by the Holy Spirit of His Father.” Christ was Lord during the sixty-two weeks and the one week, said Clement. During the first half of the week Nero held sway, and during the other half he was taken away, and Jerusalem was destroyed at the end of the period.

Hippolytus made the 70 prophetic weeks to be weeks of literal years, with the “434 years” (62 weeks) reaching from Zerubbabel and Ezra to the first advent of Christ. But he separated the 70th week from the preceding 69 by inserting a chronological gap, placing the last week of years at the end of the world, and dividing it into two segments. This view seems to have had little following in the early church.

Next, Julius Africanus counted the 70 weeks from Artaxerxes I to the cross. He said:

“It is by calculating from Artaxerxes, therefore, up to the time of Christ that the seventy weeks are made up, according to the numeration of the Jews.”

However, he reckoned 490 lunar years (which he equated with 475 solar years) from the 20th year of Artaxerxes (444 b.c.) to a.d. 31. Then Origen, of Alexandria, gross perverter of Bible interpretation, strangely computed the 70 weeks by decades, thus totaling 4900 years, which he declared extended from Adam to the rejection of the Jews at the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. After the close of the martyr period, Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, clearly presented the 490 years as from Persia to Christ, and added:

“It is quite clear that seven times seventy weeks reckoned in years amounts to 490. That was therefore the period determined for Daniel’s people.”

Spreading the 70 weeks from Cyrus to the time of Christ, Eusebius separated the component parts and introduced a gap, but he placed the crucifixion in the midst of the 70th week in these words:

“One week of years therefore would be represented by the whole period of His association with the Apostles, both the time before His Passion, and the time after His Resurrection. For it is written that before His Passion He shewed Himself for the space of three-and-a-half years to His disciples and also to those who were not His disciples: while by teaching and miracles He revealed the powers of His Godhead to all equally whether Greeks or Jews. But after His Resurrection He was most likely with His disciples a period equal to the years. … So that this would be the prophet’s week of years, during which He ‘confirmed a covenant with many,’ confirming that is to say the new Covenant of the Gospel Preaching.”


Medieval Expositors Continue the Differences.—There is little change or discussion in the early medieval period. Augustine reckoned the 490 years to the cross, stating that the date of the Passion is shown by Daniel. The anonymous work Sargis d’Aberga similarly extended the 69 weeks to Christ. The Venerable Bede followed the position early taken by Africanus, who dated the 70 weeks from the 20th year of Artaxerxes to Christ, with His baptism in the midst of the 70th week. Medieval Jews, like Saadia, understood the period as 490 years. Pseudo Aquinas held that the 70 weeks were 490 lunar years, from the 20th year of Artaxerxes, with Christ’s baptism in the midst of the 70th week, but with the cross near the close of the period. Arnold of Villanova, 13th-century physician, placed Christ’s death after the 62 weeks. That clearly was not the terminal point, for he placed the “midst of the week” in the 4th year after Jerusalem’s fall, the 46th year after the crucifixion.


Reformation Leaders Vary in Dating Cross.—In Protestant Reformation times Luther and Melanchthon called attention to the universal acceptance of the 70 weeks as “weeks of years,” the former dating them from the 2d year of Darius, but placing Christ’s death at the beginning of the 70th week. In this he was followed by some. Melanchthon, however, dated them from the 2d year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, with 69 weeks to the baptism of Christ, with the crucifixion in the midst of the 70th week 31/2 years after Christ’s baptism.

Johann Funck (d. 1566), court chaplain of Nürnberg, wrote the most thorough and complete treatise on the 70 weeks up to his day, and was probably the first in Reformation times to begin the 70 weeks in 457 b.c. and end them in a.d. 34. This was epochal. He regarded them as 490 solar years from the 7th year of Artaxerxes, and this he tabulated as well as expounded. Georg Nigrinus (d. 1602), Evangelical theologian, placed the period from 456 b.c. to a.d. 34, also with the cross at the close.

Heinrich Bullinger, of Zurich (1504–1575), likewise dated the 70 weeks from the 7th year Artaxerxes, or about 457 b.c. to about a.d. 33, with the crucifixion at the end. Jacques Cappel (157–1624), French theologian, similarly began the 490 years in 457 b.c., the “seventh year of Artaxerxes.” Joseph Mede in 1638, pivoting the 70 weeks on the destruction of Jerusalem, reckoned them 421 b.c. to a.d. 70, but put the cross in a.d. 33. On the contrary, John Tillinghast counted 486 years to the cross in a.d. 34.

There is little change of emphasis and little discussion in this post-Reformation period—Cocceius ended the 70 weeks in 33. William Whiston (followed by Bishop William Lloyd) curiously computed the period by 360-day years (which he supposed were used by the Persians), thus reckoning the 490 years from 445 b.c. to some time after a.d. 33. Sir Isaac Newton terminated them in a.d. 34. Heinrich Horch, the Berlenburg Bible, Johann Bengel, and Johann Petri all placed the cross in the midst of the 70th week, Petri dating the period from 453 b.c. to a.d. 37. Hans Wood (followed by William Hales) extended them from 420 b.c. to a.d. 70. Christian Thube of Germany placed the cross at the beginning of the last week, in a.d. 30, thus ending the 70 weeks in a.d. 37. Such was the wide variation.


American Expositors’ Views.—Among Colonial American interpreters the first systematic expositor, Ephraim Huit, in 1644 dated the 70 weeks from Artaxerxes, with the cross at the close of the first half of the 70th week. John Davenport (1597–1670), Puritan pastor of Boston, likened the divisions of Daniel’s 70 weeks to consecutive links in a chain. Samuel Langdon (1723–1797), president of Harvard, used the 70 weeks as proof of the soundness of the year-day principle for all the prophetic time periods. Samuel Osgood dated the period from the 7th year of Artaxerxes to the cross.


457 B.C. to A.D. 33 Is Predominant Dating.—In the Old World advent awakening of the early decades of the 19th century a score of expositors fixed upon the year 457 b.c., the 7th year of Artaxerxes, as the beginning of the 70 weeks, most often ending them in a.d. 33 (some in 34). William Hales (1747–1831), the chronologist later cited by the Millerites, dated the “one week” (not the 70th week) from a.d. 27 to 34, with the cross in the “midst” of this 70th week, in a.d. 31. Writing in 1820, Archibald Mason of Scotland fixed upon 457 b.c. and a.d. 33, while J. A. Brown took 457 b.c. to a.d. 34. Both expositors understood the 70 weeks to be the first part of the 2300 years, thus ending the longer period in 1843 and 1844 respectively.

On the other hand a few expositors, such as Bishop Daniel Wilson of India, writing in 1836, chose 453 b.c. to a.d. 37, with the cross in the midst of the week. But architect Matthew Habershon, Edward Bickersteth, and Louis Gaussen of Geneva all placed the 70-week segment from 457 b.c. to a.d. 33 or 34.

Here is Hales’ comment on the a.d. 31 cross:

“And after the sixty and two weeks, before specified, as the largest division of the 70, was the ANOINTED [LEADER] cut off judicially, by an iniquitous sentence, in the midst of the one week, which formed the third and last division, and began with our Lord’s Baptism, about A.D. 27.—‘when he was beginning to be thirty years of age,’ and commenced his mission, which lasted three years and half until his crucifixion, about A.D. 31.

“27. During this one week, which ended about A.D. 34 (about the martyrdom of Stephen,) a new covenant was established with many of the Jews, of every class; in the midst of which the Temple sacrifice was virtually abrogated by the all-sufficient sacrifice of the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the [repentant and believing] world.”

Dr. Mason defends his choice of the 7th year of Artaxerxes as the beginning of the 70 weeks, rather than the decrees of Cyrus or Darius, in these words:

“The decree of the Persian king, mentioned in this prophecy, must be the decree of Artaxerxes given to Ezra, in the seventh year of that monarch’s reign. The decrees of Cyrus and Darius were too early, and the decree of Artaxerxes, in the twentieth year of his reign, given to Nehemiah, was too late, for answering the prediction.—Artaxerxes issued his decree to Ezra, in the 457th year before Christ. If we add to this number 33 years, which was our Redeemer’s age at his crucifixion, we have 490 years”

(Two Essays on Daniel’s Prophetic Number of Two Thousand Three Hundred Days, p. 16).

The selection of 453 b.c. by William Pym and a few others was based on the supposition that the 70th week began in a.d. 30, “when Christ was thirty years old.” Here is Pym’s formula:

“The covenant therefore is the Gospel covenant, and the last week of the seventy are those seven years which began when Christ was thirty years old, and finished A.D. 37, at the conversion of Cornelius. Sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, have therefore to be reckoned back from the 30th year of Christ for the commencement of the seventy weeks, which deducting 30 from 483, makes before Christ 453; or, which is the same thing, 490 years, i.e. 70 weeks from A.D. 37”

(A Word of Warning in the Last Days, p. 26).

And the relation of the 70 weeks to the 2300 year-days is expressed by Bickersteth in this way:

“Of the whole period of 2300 years, 70 weeks of years were determined or cut off, from the restoration of the daily sacrifice to the completing of the perfect sacrifice of Christ, when the spiritual temple was raised up (John ii, 19–21), and the most Holy was anointed. Heb. i.9, ix.24. We have here then the ecclesiastical period of 70 weeks or 490 years distinct and perfect”

(A Practical Guide to the Prophecies [5th ed., 1836], p. 191).


American Writers Vary on 70 Weeks.—At least 14 pre- or non-Millerite expositors, between 1800 and 1844, placed the beginning and closing dates of the 490 years as 457 b.c. and a.d. 33 (with the cross in the end of the 70th week), or 453 b.c. to a.d. 37 (with the cross of the midst of the 70th week). So the dating of the cross was the crux of the problem, and the determining factor in timing the 70 weeks.

William Miller placed the cross, then generally dated as a.d. 33, at the end of the 70th week. His early associates at first also took this for granted, as most non-Millerite authorities had done in both the Old World and the New. But several scholarly Millerite writers came to see the inconsistency and inaccuracy of this position. They decided from a study of William Hales and various writers on the Jewish calendar that the crucifixion took place in the spring of a.d. 31, in the “midst” of the 70th week; thus that the 70th week extended from the autumn of 27 to the autumn of 34. This was a factor in moving the closing date of the 2300 years from “1843” to 1844. Further, from their study of the symbolism of the Jewish festivals, the Millerites concluded that the 2300 years ended in the 7th Jewish month, that is, in the autumn.

This adjustment, from “1843” to 1844, as the terminus of the 2300 years, was brought about by realizing (1) that 2300 complete years must extend from 457 b.c. to 1844; (2) consequently that the 70 weeks (490 years) must end in a.d. 34; (3) that the cross must be located in the “midst” of the 70th week (a.d. 27–34), that is, in a.d. 31. Now if the “midst” of the 70th week was the spring of a.d. 31, the end of the 70th week was the autumn of a.d. 34. Therefore the 1810 remaining years, beyond the close of the 490 years, which end in the autumn of a.d. 34, would of necessity to lead to the autumn of 1844.


Criticism Over Time Setting Invalid.—While there has been widespread taunting criticism over the stark failure of the Millerites’ expectancy of the second advent of Christ in 1844, and withering censure for the impertinence of such time setting, that is not the whole picture. Their mistake was neither greater, nor more to be censured, than the time setting of many prominent clerics of various leading churches who, in both the Old World and the New, profoundly believed that the year 1843, 1844, or 1847 would mark the beginning of an earthly millennium, or some important event leading to it, such as the fall of the pope or the Turk, the return of the Jews, or the cleansing of the church.

Many set approximately the same date as the Millerites for some transcendent event to take place, and they did so on the basis of the same inspired prophecy of Dan. 8:14—the 2300 years-days to the cleansing of the sanctuary, as certified by the events of the 70 weeks. Yet all were equally mistaken as to the event to take place.

Those who criticized the Millerites, but who had themselves abandoned the apostolic and age-old platform of premillennialism in espousing the 18th-century Whitbyan postmillennial fallacy—and yet sought to tie it into a really invulnerable time prophecy for validation—should not go unscathed. The historical record does not permit these time setters to criticize other time setters, or to assume a holier-than-thou attitude.

At issue was the meaning of the prophetic words “then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” (Dan. 8:14). The earlier Millerites had looked for the cleansing of the sanctuary in the cleansing of the earth by fire at the expected return of their Lord in 1843. Non-Millerite expositors, on the contrary, had usually regarded the sanctuary either as the church, destined to be cleansed from the pollutions of apostasy, false doctrine, and departure from God, or as the Holy Land, to be freed from the Mohammedans, to allow the restoration of the Jews. This cleansing, many of them thought, would begin about 1843, 1844, or 1847, and spread triumphantly over the millennial period. A radiant picture of the future was painted.

The dream of the time-setting postmillennialists, their fond expectancy of the conversion and the peaceful transformation of all mankind, was not realized, and similar hopes since have been shattered by the unspeakable horrors of two world wars and the paralyzing fears of a third. Similarly, those who expected Christ to come at the beginning of the millennium and set up an earthly kingdom were disappointed. The utter failure of these non-Millerite time settings should silence criticism of a Scripture-believing group who found their way out of partial truth into the fuller light concerning the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.

Both Millerites and non-Millerites were mistaken as to the actual event to take place. And only as added light dawned on the final phase of Christ’s high priestly ministry in the antitypical Day of Atonement, could the true significance of the 1844 movement be understood as heralding the judgment. The Millerite expectation was faulty as to the nature of the event anticipated. But something transcendent indeed did take place in the autumn of 1844.

In the final, or “seventh month,” 1844 phase of the Millerite movement, a new concept of the cleansing of the sanctuary had dawned upon the Millerites. Closer study of the Mosaic types of the earthly sanctuary service showed them to be the shadow of the heavenly realities (Heb. 8; 9). This is was a long step forward. In this 1844 phase of the movement the Millerites saw Jesus Christ as our heavenly High Priest, ministering in the heavenly holy of holies—or the heaven of heavens, as they began to conceive of it—who would, they believed, emerge from heaven at the close of this atonement service on the tenth day of the seventh month, to bless His waiting people. And this would involve and constitute His second advent, for “unto them that look for him shall be appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb. 9:28).

This “seventh month” concept was an essential transition step to the fuller truth that dawned immediately following the great disappointment of October 22—that instead of Jesus Christ coming out of heaven on that day, to bless His waiting people through His second advent, He for the first time entered into the second phase of His ministry as High Priest, represented by the service in the most holy place, and that He had the judgment-hour work to perform before coming to this earth at His second advent.


VII. Closing Section of Daniel 11; Periods of Chapter 12

Regarded for Centuries as Literal Days.—Pre-Christian exposition of Dan. 11 began with the understanding that this prophecy repeats in literal detail the course of the same three powers portrayed in Dan. 8—Persia, Grecia, and Rome. Possibly the first reference to Rome in prophetic interpretation appears in a late (9th century a.d.) copy of what is accepted as representing the original Septuagint translation of Daniel, dating perhaps from the 2d century b.c. Here “Chittimch. 11:36 was boldly rendered “the Romans.”

Apparently the first Christian writer to attempt to identify a specific feature of this chapter was Hippolytus, who states that the “shameless king” of Dan. 11:36 is Antichrist, a malign person who is to rebuild Jerusalem, restore the sanctuary, and accept worship as Christ. To Hippolytus the related 1290 and 1335 days of Dan. 12 were merely days—the 1290 days being the time of Antichrist’s war on the saints, with the kingdom of heaven coming to those who survive the 45 days beyond the 1290, that is, to the end of the 1335 days. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315–386) mentions that some have applied the 1290 and the 1335 days to the period of Antichrist. And Jerome (c. 340–420) wrote: “But our [people] think that all these things are prophesied of Antichrist who will be in the last time.”

Theodoret (c. 386–457), Greek theologian of Antioch, equated the 31/2 times, or years, with the 1290 days. And Haymo of Halberstadt (bishop 840–853) held that after the 1260 days and the death of Antichrist, 45 days—the difference between the 1290 and 1335 days—are given to the elect to repent, and are days of grace. The Venerable Bede (c. 673–735), English historian, believed that the second advent would follow the 1335 days—45 days beyond the 1290—when Christ would come in majesty, after the destruction of Antichrist. And his 31/2 times are literal years.


Year-Day Principle Applied in 13th Century.—In 1297 Arnold of Villanova declared that Antichrist would come about the end of 1290 years “from the time when the Jewish people lost possession of their land” (after the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans). He was apparently the first Christian writer (unless it was Olivi) to specifically apply the year-day principle to these longer periods, and ended the 1290 years in either 1376 or 1378, and the 1335 years in the 15th century, in the era of universal tranquility of the church.

French-born leader of the Spirituals, Pierre Jean d’Olivi (1248–1298), likewise applied the year-day principle to the 1290 and 1335 days. He thought the 1260- and 1290-day periods to be the same (simply calculated in different ways)—with the 1290 years extending from Christ’s death to Antichrist, and the 1335 years reaching 45 years beyond to the Jubilee of peace, and the seventh estate of grace.


Jewish Attempts to Locate the Periods.—Numerous Jewish expositors—from 9th-century Karaite Benjamin ben Moses Nahawendi, of Persia, on to 16th-century Naphtali Herz ben Jacob Elhanan, of Germany—applied the year-day principle to the 1290- and/or 1335-day prophetic time periods of Daniel. At least seven so expounded before Catholic Joachim of Floris applied the year-day formula to the 1260 days, and before his followers in the 13th century extended it to include Daniel’s other time prophecies Nahawendi dated the 1290 years from the destruction of the second Temple to 1358.

A succession of Jewish scholars, from Saadia ben Joseph (882–942) of Babylonia onward, declared these time periods to be years. Some did not date them; others dated them from the 1st century, perhaps with the destruction of Jerusalem, to the time of the Messianic era, possibly ending about 1358 and 1403; and still others terminated the 1290 around 1462, the 1335 in 1575 or 1594. These expositors were spread over France, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, Algiers, and Turkey.

Statesman Isaac Abravanel expected the end of the 1335 years about 1503, and held the nations of Dan. 2, 7, and 8 to be the subject of Dan. 11 as well. He thought possibly the kings of the north and south involve the Christians and the Turks, and dated the 1290 (1390) years to the 1453 conquest of Constantinople.


Diverse Pre-Reformation and Reformation Views.In medieval times John Milicz (d. 1374), precursor of the Bohemian Reformation, combining Dan. 12:12 with Matt. 24:15, counted the 1335 years from the crucifixion to the Antichrist in about 1363–1367. Scholarly Nicholas de Lyra (d. 1340) likewise believed Daniel’s 1290 and 1335 days to be years. And John Wyclif (c. 1324–1384) interpreted Christ’s “abomination of desolation,” applied to the defiling of the sanctuary in Dan. 11, as the doctrine of transubstantiation. And his calculation of the end, made in 1356, was definitely influenced by the 1290- and 1335-year prophecies.

John Purvey (c. 1354–1428), colaborer of Wyclif and writer of the first Protestant commentary, believed that he was in the 45 years (apparently between the 1290 and the 1335 years) given to the elect for repentance. And the 14th-century Lollard scholar, Walter Brute, dated the 1290 years from Hadrian’s placing of the abomination (idol) in the holy place to the revealing of Antichrist.

Martin Luther (1483–1546) applied the willful king of Dan. 11 to the pope, declaring he would come to his end between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas—with none to help.

“Here, Daniel 11:37, we have a description of the Antichrist. … The latter [Antichrist] shall reign between two seas, at Constantinople, but that place is not holy, they [the Turks] also do not forbid marriage, therefore, believe me, the Pope is the Antichrist.”

Like scores before him, Luther also held the 1290 and 1335 to be years, but ended them about 1372. On the contrary, Melanchthon (1497–1560), stressing the Mohammedan and papal perversions of the true worship, said Dan. 11:45 may refer not alone to the Turk, who has his seat between the two seas, but also to the seat of the Roman pope, also located between two seas. Seeking the time placement, Funck of Nürnberg, taking a.d. 261 as the starting point of the 1290 years, ended this period of time in 1550, and extended the 1335 to 1595, 45 years beyond. Oecolampadius (1482–1531) held that Dan. 11 climaxes with Antichrist.

From Nikolaus Selnecker of Nürnberg (1530–1592) onward, numerous well-known scholars—including English Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and Bishop John Jewel—regarded the pope as the power of the latter part of Dan. 11. On the contrary, a few believed it to indicate Turkey.

Lord John Napier, of the early 17th century, first Scottish expositor of the Revelation, taking the 1290 and 1335 days to be years, believed the 1335 might be from the taking away of the Jewish ceremonies under Julian, a.d. 365, and therefore would end in 1700, at which time he looked for the judgment. On the contrary, Catholic Counter Reformation Cardinal Bellarmine as a Futurist sought to limit the 1290 days to a single malign person, and the 45-day interval between the 1290 and 1335 to literal days before Antichrist would be slain.


Terminal Dates Set Later and Later.—In the Post-Reformation era, numerous men in the Old World, between George Downham (1603) and James Bicheno (1974), left expositions of Dan. 11 attempting to locate the 1290 and 1335 days. Some simply said the longer period leads to the second advent, the resurrection, the end, the judgment, or the New Jerusalem. With others, specific dates were suggested for these, calculated on the year-day principle. Bishop Downham, of Derry, identified the papacy as the “king of the north,” destined to come to his end, with the longer period of 1335 days, or years, terminating in what he spoke of as the “glorious state of New Jerusalem.”

On the other hand, nonconformist educator Henry More (1614–1687) believed not only that the Antichrist (apparently the papacy) is indicated in Dan. 11:37, 38, but that the Turk is the final king of the north, coming to his end with none to help. So these two views were now running parallel.

The two positions were interwoven by John Tillinghast, who thought that both the papacy and the Turk are indicated in Dan. 11:40 and onward, with both to be destroyed by the coming of Christ. And he calculated the 1290 years from Julian (a.d.366) to 1656, dating the 1335 years from the same 366 to 1701—the end of the 2300 years—with Christ’s personal reign and the millennium. But William Sherwin (1607–1687?) applied the final king of the north to the Turk, destined to come to his end without help. And he terminated the 1290 years in 1656 (reckoned from Julian the Apostate), and the 1335 and 2300 years in 1700, as the beginning of the “blessed time.” So the terminal points were gradually moved forward.

Thomas Beverley, in 1684, also saw the king of the north as the Turk, soon coming to his end as predicted. The 2300 and 1335 years he closed in 1772, as the approaching “end of all.” The anonymous writer of The Mysteries of God Finished (1699) thought the 1335 years would end synchronously with the 2300, perhaps in 1699, at the end of the reign of Antichrist, with the 1260 and 1290 ending in 1685. Bible commentator William Lowth (1660–1732) had the papacy as the “Willful King” of Dan. 11, with the 1335 years leading to the cleansing of the sanctuary and terminating along with the 2300 years.

In the 18th century, exegetes in Great Britain, Switzerland, and Germany again sought to solve the mystery of the dating of these two periods. One terminated them in 1745 and 1790, respectively, another as late as 1860. Their close was tied to the last judgment, the resurrection, and the advent, or the setting up of the kingdom of God—always to the “last things.”

Reformed pastor Johann Petri, in the latter part of the 18th century, ended the 1290 years in 1847, which would begin the millennial reign, and had the 1335 end in 1892—preparatory to the eternal rest. Later, Hans Wood, of Ireland, put the Turk in Dan. 11:44, 45, with the 1290 and the 1335 terminating with the 2300 years in 1880. Dissenter James Bicheno (d. 1831) dated the 1290 and 1335 from 529, thus ending them in 1819 and 1864—the latter date the year of the “Blessed One,” with the Turk as the king of the north. But Christian G. Thube, of Germany, at the end of the century, held the papacy to be identical with the power of Dan. 11:36–45.


Early Americans Match Old World Expositions.—American writers from Roger Williams (d. 1683) to Joshua Spalding (1796) gave much the same explanation of the powers of the latter part of Dan. 11, and the time periods of ch. 12. Thus Williams, pioneer of religious liberty in America, declared the power of Dan. 11:36 to be the same as the papal little horn of Dan. 7:25. Ephraim Huit (d. 1644), first systematic Colonial expositor of Daniel, said the 11th chapter parallels the preceding prophecies of chs. 2, 7, and 8. He likewise makes the blasphemous king of ch. 11:36 to be the “Romane Antichrist,” but has the Turk as the “king of the north,” and ends the 1290 and 1335 years in 1650 and 1695—beginning both in 360, when the Jewish sacrifices were removed by Julian the Apostate.

Thomas Parker, in the middle of the 17th century, likewise applied the papal exploits to vs. 36–40, with the Turk as the king of the north, but ended the 1290 years in 1859. Samuel Hutchinson similarly saw the Turk as the last power of ch. 11, whose end would come at Christ’s glorious second advent, along with the destruction of the man of sin, but did not date the time periods. Harvard’s president, Increase Mather, likewise held the papacy to be the power of v. 36, with the “Turkish Ottomanical family” following, and began the 1290- and 1335-year periods in 440 or 450. His famous son, Cotton Mather (d. 1728), likewise began both the 1290 and the 1335 in either a.d. 440 or 450—thus terminating the latter about 1785, and leading to the last things.

On the contrary, William Burnet, governor of New York and Massachusetts, believed the papacy to be the leading power of the latter part of the chapter, and ended the 1290 years in 1745, with the 1335 years extending to 1790, when the first resurrection would occur and the kingdom of God be nigh at hand. Episcopal rector Richard Clarke (d. 1780), of South Carolina, terminated the 1335 years in 1765, when he looked for the “midnight” of the world and the fall of Babylon. Congregational theologian Samuel Hopkins (d. 1803) did not specifically date the periods, but began the 1260 in 606, and thought this prophetic period might begin along with the 1290, and lead to the recovery of the church.

So the 19th century dawned with Postmaster General Samuel Osgood stressing the Ottoman power as the central figure of Dan. 11:40 ff., which would come to its end at the second advent, but refraining from pinpointing the 1290 or 1335 years. Harvard librarian James Winthrop began the 1260 and 1290 years together in 532, and so terminated the 1290 years in 1822 with the judgment, and the 1335 with the beginning of the millennium, synchronously with the close of the 2300 years.

Joshua Spalding, “day-star” of the returning premillennial hope, whose treatise was reprinted by the Millerites, explicitly applied Dan. 11:44, 45 to the papal Antichrist going forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to make away many, then coming to his end. The 1290- and 1335-year periods of Dan. 12 were taken as leading to the first resurrection and the New Jerusalem, with the deliverance of the church, the harvest, and the judgement at hand. This was the immediate background of the Millerite exposition.


Old World Exposition in 19th-Century Awakening.—Expositors in the 19th-century Old World advent awakening were divided as to the powers indicated in the latter part of the chapter—the willful king, the king of the north, etc. Some interpreted one or both of these as the papacy, others as the Turks; some included revolutionary France or Napoleon. Others in the same period saw Antiochus as the willful king (the view that was later to become predominant among modern commentators). However, in the early 19th century there was greater unanimity over the dating of the 1290 and 1335 years than in any previous period—many placing the terminal date of the 1335 years in 1867 or 1868.

These expositors were men of scholarship and prominence, and pressed their viewpoints. One frequent time calculation was to begin the 1260-, 1290-, and 1335-year periods synchronously, in a.d. 533, thus ending the 1335 years in 1867. Under this scheme the end sequences were dated for 1792, 1822, and 1867 (or 1793, 1823, and 1868). Most of them believed that the ending of the 1335 years would usher in the millennium and the period of blessedness. Some looked for the cleansing of the church, others for the battle of Gog and Magog, or the great day of God, the judgment, Christ’s descent from heaven, the resurrection and the transformation of the living saints, the destruction of every earthly power opposed to Christ and His people, and the beginning of Christ’s glorious reign.

Not a few ended one or another of the time periods in 1844. But 1867 was the predominant focal point, marking the beginning of the blessed era and ushering in the hope of the world.


American Hesitancy in Dating the 1290- and 1335-Year Periods.—On the 1290 year-days of Dan. 12:11, there were relatively few non-Millerite American expositors between 1800 and 1844 who attempted a time placement. Most of them began the 1260, 1290, and 1335 years synchronously. Those who fixed upon 533 (the date of Justinian’s imperial rescript) as the common starting point, terminated the 1290 years in 1823. Some took 606 (from Phocas or the rise of Mohammed) for the joint beginning, and ended the 1290 in 1896. Others dated the 1290 years from 587 to 1877. Others had isolated dates. There was more diversity concerning these numbers than over any other prophetic numbers in Daniel.

There was similar lack of agreement with regard to the 1335-year period. The non-Millerites who attempted a calculation most often placed it from a.d. 533 to 1866 or 1868 (approximately 45 years beyond the close of the 1290 years). A few put it from 587 to 1922, and about the same number from 606 to 1941. Scattered dating characterized the remainder. Most American interpreters, however, looked upon the 1335 years as leading up to the first resurrection and the “blessed” time to follow in the millennium, not a few understanding this to be introduced by the second advent. There was therefore a close relationship in the dating of the 1335-, 1290-, and 1260-year periods—whether started from a.d. 533, 587, or 606.

In the earlier, or “1843,” phase of the Millerite movement, all followed Miller’s lead, and dated both the 1290 and 1335 years from a.d. 508—his date for the taking away of paganism—closing the 1290 years simultaneously with the ending of the 1260 years of papal spiritual dominance, in 1798. And they extended the 1335 years to 1843, to end synchronously with the 2300 years. But in the “seventh month,” or 1844, phase of the Millerite movement, when it came to be believed that the 2300 years extended from the autumn of 457 b.c. to the autumn of 1844, many shifted the close of the 1335 years from 1843 to 1844, to end them simultaneously with the 2300 years.

They evidently felt justified in making this shift because they had no fixed event for the beginning date of the 1335 years, which had rather been figured back from “1843” to approximately a.d. 508. But they felt that time was short, and there was little interest in readjusting the details of such minor points.


Division in Interpreting Last Powers.By the time of William Miller expositors were largely agreed on the application of the earlier part of Dan. 11 to the Ptolemies and Seleucids (including Antiochus Epiphanes). But they differed as to what sections of prophecy applied to Rome, and presented endless variations in the identification of the power or powers appearing in the latter part of the chapter. Miller explained the willful king of Dan. 11:36 as the papacy, and the king of the north (v. 40) as England. However, he made vs. 40–45 refer to Napoleon, who was to plant the tabernacles of his palace in Italy and later come to his end (Evidence From Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ, 1842 ed., pp. 97, 98, 104–107).

The older division of opinion between the papacy and the Turk in the interpretation of the latter part of Dan. 11 continued to be reflected in the views of Seventh-day Adventists. Some, like James White, saw the papal Antichrist in the willful king and also in the power that was to come to its end; others introduced France and Napoleon into their interpretation. Later, many followed Uriah Smith in identifying Turkey as the king of the north (vs. 41–45) as well as the power in the sixth trumpet and the sixth plague.


VIII. In Conclusion


From the foregoing evidence it is clear that Seventh-day Adventists are in no sense the originators of the basic interpretation of prophecy, which is one of the oldest and noblest fields of Biblical exegesis. There has been a progressive unrolling of the scroll, section by section. We stand at the end of the notable line of faithful witnesses spread over the course of 2,000 years. Hundreds of pioneering expositors have preceded us. We may humbly say that we are the recoverers and restorers of the soundest principles and applications of the most godly and learned scholars of the past in this vital area of Biblical study.

As continuators and consummators of clearly enunciated and firmly established principles of exposition of the ages, we are truly and soundly orthodox interpreters of prophecy. The outstanding expositors of the Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant faiths are our expositional ancestors. Ours is not, then, in any sense an isolated sectarian platform. It is the broadest and soundest, the most logical and best attested, of any expositional platform on prophecy in the history of the Christian church.

We have retained what others have let slip. That, in a word, expresses our relationship to God’s line of prophetic witnesses through all past time. We have gathered up the gems of prophetic truth concerning Dan. 2; 7; 8; 9; 11; 12, that have been buried under the debris of churchly discard and neglect. We have simply reset these honored expositions in the framework of the “everlasting gospel”—God’s message for today.

Our immediate antecedents are to be found in the worldwide revival and second advent movement of the early decades of the 19th century, first in the Old World and then in the New, where the distinctive movement was known as Millerism.

Most of our major positions on Daniel’s prophecies came directly from the Millerite expositors, for this was the chief area of their study in prophetic lines. Most of our major advances, and the area of our most intensive study, have been in the complementary prophecies of the Apocalypse, pertaining to the latter days. This is particularly true of Rev. 13–18, relating to the last things, or end events, for which neither the early church nor Reformation expositors were prepared, simply because this portion was not yet applicable.




Advent Source Collection, S.D.A. Theological Seminary, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan. Works in the field of prophetic interpretation.

Adventual Collection, Aurora College (Illinois). Greatest single collection of Millerite sources: periodicals, pamphlets, and books, particularly Miller’s manuscript letters, articles, diaries, sermon outlines, and charts.

Single Works


American sources are to be found largely in the Library of Congress, Union Theological Seminary, New York Public Library, Harvard University, American Antiquarian Society, Andover Newton Theological Seminary, Congregational Library of Boston, General Theological Seminary of New York City, and Western Reserve Historical Society of Cleveland.

British and European works on prophecy are found largely in the British Museum, and libraries of Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow, and Dublin; Continental European works on prophecy principally in the former Preussische Staatsbibiliothek of Berlin, Bibliothèque nationale of Paris, and Bibliothèque publique et universitaire of Geneva; also in libraries in Wittenberg, Vienna, and Rome.

Bickersteth, Edward. A Practical Guide to the Prophecies. London: R. B. Seeley and W. Burnside, 1836. 384 pp. Condensed listing of British expositors.

Birks, T[homas] R. First Elements of Sacred Prophecy. London: William Edward Painter, 1843. 438 pp. British advent awakening’s classic answer to Futurism.

[Brooks, Joshua W.], compiler. A Dictionary of Writers on the Prophecies. London: Simpkin, Marshall and Co., 1835. 114 pp. Most complete and helpful single check list of Old World expositions.

Croly, George. The Apocalypse of St. John. London: C. & J. Rivington, 1827. 372 pp. Historical discussion of year-day principle, particularly as applied to 1260-year period.

Döllinger, [Johann J.] Ign[az]v[on]. Prophecies and the Prophetic Spirit in the Christian Era. London: Rivingtons, 1873. 226 pp. Valuable coverage from the early Middle Ages to 1519, with expositions of the times.

Elliott, E[dward] B[ishop]. Horae Apocalypticae; or, A Commentary on the Apocalypse (5th ed.). London: Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday, 1862. 628+576+632+738 pp. Most extensive discussion of the Revelation, also covering paralleling writers on Daniel.

Evans, Charles. American Bibliography (12 vols.). Chicago: The Author, 1903–1934. Greatest single help in checking works published in America prior to 19th century.

Froom, LeRoy E. The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers (4 vols.). Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1946–1954. 1066+863+802+1295 pp. A comprehensive history of prophetic interpretation. Contains numerous source excerpts and summaries of the leading expositions of Daniel. Sources and references for all items in the foregoing article are taken from this work, where fuller data appear. See indexes, charts, bibliographies, and text of volumes.

Guinness, H. Grattan. The Approaching End of the Age. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1880. 372 pp. This, and two titles that follow, are comprehensive 19th-century works on prophecy.

_______. History Unveiling Prophecy. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1905. 434 pp._______. Romanism and the Reformation. Toronto: S. R. Briggs, 1887. 396 pp.

Hitchcock, George S. The Beasts and the Little Horn. In Catholic Truth Society (London) Publications, 1911. Valuable sketch of Futurism.

Horn, Siegfried H., and Wood, Lynn H. The Chronology of Ezra 7 (2d ed.). Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1970. 160 pp. The most authoritative treatment of the 7th year of Artaxerxes, substantiating fundamental Adventist position on time placement of 2300-year period.

Johnson, Albert C. Advent Christian History. Boston: Advent Christian Publication Society, 1918. 598 pp. Concise history of Millerite movement.

Loughborough, J. N. The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1905. 480 pp. Written long after the events occurred. Should be checked against original sources.

Nichol, Francis D. The Midnight Cry. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1944. 560 pp. A critical and authoritative history of Millerism, with particular attention to the charge that the movement was guilty of fanatical excesses. Constitutes invaluable historical companion to Prophetic Faith, Vol. IV, which deals primarily with prophetic exposition angle.

Spalding, Arthur W. Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists (4 vols.), vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1961. History of beginnings of Advent Movement, written primarily for youth, but valuable for reference.

_______. Pioneer Stories of the Second Advent Message (rev. ed.). Nashville, Tenn.: Southern Publishing Association, 1942. 286 pp. Human-interest recital, but historically quite accurate.

Taylor, Daniel T. The Reign of Christ on Earth. Revised and edited by H. L. Hastings. Boston: Scriptural Tract Repository, H. L. Hastings, 1882. 545 pp. Contains tabulation of writers, some of whom deal with Daniel’s prophecies.

Weis, Frederick L. The Colonial Clergy and the Colonial Churches of New England. Lancaster, Mass.: [Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy], 1936. A mine of biographical data.

Wellcome, Isaac C. History of the Second Advent Message and Mission, Doctrine and People. Yarmouth, Maine; I. C. Wellcome, 1874, 707 pp. Important Millerite historical recital by a participant.


Notice this view from the following link:

“There appears to be two views on what constitutes the ‘Daily’.


• Pioneers see "the daily" as the work of Satan, the evil of paganism exalted and absorbed into something worse—papalism.

• The "new view" sees "the daily" as the work of Christ; His High Priestly ministry successfully removed by Satan. No two views of anything could be further apart.


The new view started roughly around 1919 and has been largely embraced by modern Adventists. Sister Whites position was that it was not clearly revealed to her and we were making a mountain from a mole hill. The discussions were wreaking havoc within the church to the point of calling into question the inspired writings of the Testimonies!


It appears that Dr. Ford accepted the new view, and was a large part of his false ideas. The subject remains one of intense debate.


At this point, I'm leaning toward the view of the pioneers. A papal system. Modern interpretation of that view, the Sunday laws, taking away the Sabbath, which in this view would be the "Daily".


Does the Adventist church, today, have a position on the Daily, or does the debate continue?


TRY keep it simple people, I don't have a theology decree and SO many times you guys go right over my head with this stuff. Can we get a "Cliff Notes" version? I don't have time or feel the need to read more books on the matter.”


Ron responds: If we lay aside our myopic views in light of Ellen White’s admonition that all the words of Scripture have deeper meanings and embrace broader scopes of understanding, we might begin to advance beyond the bigotry of God’s first chosen people, the Jews. Let’s ask a few revealing questions which should turn on some lights:


1.    Is paganism antithetical to God’s continual law which lasts forever?

2.    Is papalism which claims to be able to forgive sins, antithetical to God’s continual law which lasts forever?

3.    Does Jesus still perform a daily forgiveness of sins in the Heavenly Sanctuary?

4.    Satan has a counterpart for everything God does. Is Satan’s “Daily” his counterfeit for God’s True Daily work of Intercession in the Heavenly Sanctuary. Is that work of forgiveness of sin prostituted by Rome and the paganism of Free Masonry and all non-Christian religions at the end-time?

5.    Is Rome’s claim to forgive sins a usurping of the role of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary?


Jeff Pippenger’s Views on the Daily


Question 9   


“Why is the right understanding about the “Daily“ in Daniel 8,13-14 so significant?

There are three or four, at least three very, important answers to that, and I don’t know how to prioritize their importance.


Jesus illustrates the end from the beginning. The Millerite understanding of the “Daily“ is that it represented paganism, and that it was the work of Pagan Rome to place the papacy upon the throne of the earth in 538. But the power at the end of the world that places the papacy upon the throne of the earth is the United States.”


Note by Ron: Deeper yet it the power that empowers the United States at the end of the world, and that power is Free Masonry of Great Britain and Satan, whom they worship. End note.


“Perhaps the most important symbol of paganism in the book of Daniel is the “Daily“. And paganism, or Pagan Rome, is a type of the United States. Pagan Rome places the papacy on the throne of the earth at the beginning, the United States places the Papacy on the throne of the earth at the end. Jesus illustrates the end of the beginning. So, if you misunderstand what the "Daily“ is, you destroy your ability to identify the work that the United States is doing in the world today in terms of placing the Papacy on the throne of the earth.”


Note by Ron: It is Free Masonry that is neutering the United States right before our eyes, so what power will the U.S. have to place Rome on the throne of the earth, when the Bible says that the 10 horned beast gives its power to Rome for one hour, allthewhile the beast the whore sits upon hates the whore (Rome) and will burn her in one morning, Rev. 17:16. If the identity of the Daily is so important, how is it that Pippenger could get it so grossly wrong regarding this end-time fact associated with the Daily? End note.


A secondary reason is as follows: Today in Adventism we teach that the "Daily“ represents Christ’s Sanctuary ministry, we teach that the "Daily“ in the book of Daniel is a godly power, it’s Christ sanctuary ministry. The SDA Pioneers taught it was paganism, a satanic power.


Note by Ron: We should not teach that the Daily represents Christ’s Sanctuary ministry, but that ministry was/is surely usurped by pagan and papal Rome in its pretension to be able to absolve sins. Were SDA Pioneers the be-all and end-all of ever developing truth? The abomination of the false Daily is its effort to teach pagan doctrines, assume the role of Christ in forgiving sin, and the effort to remove His continual law, by changing the Sabbath day. So Christ’s Sanctuary work in the Heavenly Sanctuary and His law is usurped by the Daily. End note by Ron.


“So, another issue about the "Daily“ that’s important, is the issue of the "Spirit of Prophecy“, because in Early Writings, page 74 Sister White says: "I was shown, that those who gave the judgment hour cry had the correct few of the Daily“. And there was no other view in Adventism of the “Daily“ until 1901.


Note by Ron: I fully embrace the pioneer view of the Daily involving pagan and papal Rome. Indeed, the view that the Daily was ONLY Christ’s Sanctuary ministry, omits Satan’s counterfeit of that ministry, his Daily, teaching paganism and that man can either forgive sins and/or that there is no such thing as sin, came “from angels that were expelled from heaven.” But to say that the Daily is not involved with the Heavenly Sanctuary and Christ’s work there is antichrist teaching, because the teaching of the Daily by pagan/papal Rome was/is antichrist concerning Christ’s work in the Heavenly Sanctuary. To divorce the Daily from this fact, merely saying it is paganism evolved into papalism, is to ignore the very objective of Satan in perpetrating those isms through his agencies. End note.


So, the pioneer understanding, that the “Daily“ was paganism, Sister White says, that’s the correct view. And then the view, that came from Conradi, that it is Christ’s sanctuary ministry, Sister White says, "it came from angels, that were expelled from heaven". So, the “Daily“ is not only important because it has a prophetic importance, but it also places a decision [question] concerning the “Spirit of Prophecy“ into the play of things. And it’s a too big of a subject to just to take up in a short interview.


The Context of Ellen White’s Statement that Prescott and Daniells’ were being worked by the angels that were expelled from heaven is that they were using the 1901 General Conference meeting to argue about the Daily, rather than working the cities to save souls. Evidently, Ellen White did not view the Daily as being of such great consequence as Jeff Pippenger regards it. Ellen White says in the following manuscript that the daily IS NOT A TESTING QUESTION.

MR No. 1425—Errors and Dangers of Prescott and Daniells; The Cities to Be Worked

(A.G. Daniells was elected president of the General Conference in 1901. This suggests that this document was written in 1910, a time when Mrs. White was very concerned about Daniells’ neglect of the cities and his involvement in the controversy over the “Daily.”)

At this stage of our experience we are not to have our minds drawn away from the special light given [us] to consider at the important gathering of our conference. And there was Brother Daniells, whose mind the enemy was working; and your mind and Elder Prescott’s mind were being worked by the angels that were expelled from heaven. Satan’s work was to divert your minds that jots and tittles should be brought in which the Lord did not inspire you to bring in. They were not essential. But this meant much to the cause of truth. And the ideas of your minds, if you could be drawn away to jots or tittles, is a work of Satan’s devising. To correct little things in the books written, you suppose would be doing a great work. But I am charged, Silence is eloquence.     {20MR 17.1}

I am to say, Stop your picking flaws. If this purpose of the devil could only be carried out, then [it] appears to you [that] your work would be considered as most wonderful in conception. It was the enemy’s plan to get all the supposed objectionable features where all classes of minds did not agree. And what then? The very work that pleases the devil would come to pass. There would be a representation given to the outsiders not of our faith just what would suit them, that would develop traits of character which would cause great confusion and occupy the golden moments which should be used zealously to bring the great message before the people. The presentations upon any subject we have worked upon could not all harmonize, and the results would be to confuse the minds of believers and unbelievers. This is the very thing that Satan had planned that should take place—anything that could be magnified as a disagreement.         {20MR 17.2}

Read Ezekiel, chapter 28. Now, here is a grand work, where strange spirits can figure. But the Lord has a work to [be] done to save perishing souls; and the places which Satan, disguised, could fill in, bringing confusion into our ranks, he will do to perfection, and all those little differences will become enlarged, prominent.   {20MR 17.3}

And I was shown from the first that the Lord had given neither Elders Daniells nor Prescott the burden of this work. Should Satan’s wiles be brought in, should this “Daily” be such a great matter as to be brought in to confuse minds and hinder the advancement of the work at this important period of time? It should not, whatever may be. This subject should not be introduced, for the spirit that would be brought in would be forbidding, and Lucifer is watching every movement. Satanic agencies would commence his work and there would be confusion brought into our ranks. You have no call to hunt up the difference of opinion that is not a testing question; but your silence is eloquence. I have the matter all plainly before me. If the devil could involve any one of our own people on these subjects, as he has proposed to do, Satan’s cause would triumph. Now the work without delay is to be taken up and not a [difference] of opinion expressed. {20MR 18.1}

Satan would inspire those men who have gone out from us to unite with evil angels and retard our work on unimportant questions, and what rejoicing [there] would be in the camp of the enemy. Press together, press together. Let every difference be buried. Our work now is to devote all our physical and brain-nerve power to put these differences out of the way, and all harmonize. If Satan could with his great unsanctified wisdom be permitted to get the least hold, [he would rejoice]. {20MR 18.2}

Now, when I saw how you were working, my mind took in the whole situation and the results if you should go forward and give the parties that have left us the least chance to bring confusion into our ranks. Your lack of wisdom would be just what Satan would have it. Your loud proclamation was not under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I was instructed to say to you that your picking flaws in the writings of men that have been led of God is not inspired of God. And if this is the wisdom that Elder Daniells would give to the people, by no means give him an official position, for he cannot reason from cause to effect. Your silence on this subject is your wisdom. Now, everything like picking flaws in the publications of men who are not alive is not the work God has given any of you to do. For if these men—Elders Daniells and Prescott—had followed the directions given in working the cities, there would have been many, very many, convinced of the truth and converted, able men that [now] are in positions where they never will be reached.     {20MR 18.3}

All the world is to be regarded as one great family. And when you have such a fountain of knowledge to draw from, why have you left the world to perish for years with the testimonies given by our Lord Jesus Christ? True religion teaches us to regard every man and woman as a person to whom we can do good. {20MR 18.4}

This has been in print many years: “A Balanced Mind,” testimony to Elder Andrews. The mind may be cultivated to become a power to know when to speak and what burdens to take up and to bear, for Christ is your teacher. And I feared greatly for you [when I saw you] exalting your wisdom and pursuing a course to bring in differences of opinion. The Lord calls for wise men who can hold their peace when it [is] wisdom for them to do so. If you would be a whole man, you need sanctification through Jesus Christ. Now there is a work just started, and let wisdom be seen in every minister, in every president of [a] conference. But here was a work for you to take hold of years ago where you were needed to lift your voice for this very work. Christ gave all His people special directions what they shall do and the things they shall not do. And there is a little time left us to work out the righteousness of the Lord. {20MR 19.1}

You can understand the way of the Lord. I saw your purpose of carrying things after your own devising after you were placed as president. You had thought you would do wonderful things, which would be a work God had not placed in your hands to do. Now, your work is not to oppress but to release every necessity possible if the Lord has accepted you to serve. But you have very early given evidence that wisdom and sanctified judgment have not been manifested by you. You blazed out matters that would not be received unless the Lord should give light. {20MR 19.2}

I have been instructed that such hasty movements should not have [been] made [such] as selecting you as president of the conference even another year. But the Lord forbids any more such hasty transactions until the matter is brought before the Lord in prayer; and as you have had the message come to you that the work of the Lord resting upon the president is a most solemn responsibility, you had no moral right to blaze out as you did upon the subject of the “Daily” and suppose your influence would decide the question. There was Elder Haskell, who has carried the heavy responsibilities, and there is Elder Irwin and several men I might mention who have the heavy responsibilities.   {20MR 19.3}

Where was your respect for the men of age? What authority could you exercise without taking all the responsible men to weigh the matter? But let us now investigate the matter. We must now reconsider whether it is the Lord’s judgment, in the face of the work that has been neglected, of showing your zeal to carry the work even another year. If you should carry the work another year with the help that shall unite with you, there should be a change take place in you and Elder Prescott. And humble your own hearts before God. The Lord will have to see in you a showing of a different experience, for if ever men needed to be reconverted at this present [time], it [is] Elder Daniells and Elder Prescott. {20MR 19.4}

Seven men should be chosen that are men of wisdom and through the working of the grace of God [give] evidence [of] a reconversion. For any men who are so blinded that they cannot reason from cause to effect, that they would ignore the men who have borne the responsibilities of the work and these presidents of conferences, [that] men [who] carry the work for over two years should be disregarded and such an impulsive consequence take place that men would neglect the very work kept before them for years—work the cities—and no, or but very little, attention [be] given to the old men for counsel, but proclaim the things they choose to give the people, bears its own testimony of the unsafety of the men to be entrusted with such a grand and wonderful work.      {20MR 20.1}

Christ is not dead. He will never suffer His work to be carried on in this strange way. Let the books alone. If any change is essential, God will have the harmony in that change consistent, but when a message has been entrusted to men with the large responsibilities involved, [God] demands faithfulness that will work by love and purify the soul. Elders Daniells and Prescott both need reconversion. A strange work has come in, and it is not in harmony with the work Christ came to our world to do; and all who are truly converted will work the works of Christ.  {20MR 20.2}

We are every one [to] work out the work which shall glorify the Father. We have come to the crisis—either to conform to the character of Jesus Christ right in this preparatory time or not attempt [it]. Elder Daniells, [you are not] to feel at liberty to let your voice be heard on high as you have done under similar circumstances. And understand, the president of a conference is not a ruler. He works in connection with the wise men who occupy the position as presidents whom God has accepted. He has not liberty to meddle with the writings in printed books from the pens that God has accepted. They are no longer to bear sway unless they show less of the ruling, dominating power. The crisis has come, for God will be dishonored.     {20MR 20.3}

How does the Lord look upon the unworked cities? Christ is in heaven. Now its acknowledgment is to be, “There is no kingly rule. And now is the crisis of this world. Now I am the Power to save or to destroy. Now is the time when the destiny of all is in My hands. I have given My life to save the world. And ‘I, if I be lifted up,’ the saving grace I shall impart will prove that all who will be fashioned after the divine similitude and will be one with Me shall work as I work with My power of redeeming grace.” Whoever will, [let him] take hold with his brethren to do the work given them to do when in responsible places under the counsel the Lord gives, and seek most earnestly to work in complete harmony with him who so loved the world He gave His life a full sacrifice for the saving of the world. {20MR 20.4}

I speak to our ministers, that as they enter upon the work in our cities let there be a calm sacredness attending the ministry of the Word. We cannot make the proper impression upon the minds of the people if we ... [Lower third of this page left blank.]   {20MR 21.1}

I copy from my Diary. The truth as it is in Jesus—talk it, pray it, believe every word in its simplicity. What would you gain if mistakes are brought before the men who have departed from the faith and given heed to seducing spirits, men who were not long ago with us in the faith? Will you stand on the devil’s side? Give your attention to the unworked fields. A world-wide work is before us. I was given representations of John Kellogg. A very attractive personage was representing the ideas of the specious arguments that he was presenting, sentiments different from the genuine Bible truth. And those who are hungering and thirsting after something new were advancing ideas [so specious] that Elder Prescott was in great danger. Elder Daniells was in great danger [of] becoming wrapped in a delusion that if these sentiments could be spoken everywhere it would be as a new world.    {20MR 21.2}

Yes, it would, but while their minds were thus absorbed I was shown that Brother Daniells and Brother Prescott were weaving into their experience sentiments of a spiritualistic appearance and drawing our people to beautiful sentiments that would deceive, if possible, the very elect. I have to trace with my pen [the fact] that these brethren would see defects in their delusive ideas that would place the truth in an uncertainty; and [yet] they [would] stand out as [if they had] great spiritual discernment. Now I am to tell them [that] when I was shown this matter, when Elder Daniells was lifting up his voice like a trumpet in advocating his ideas of the “Daily,” the after results were presented. Our people were becoming confused. I saw the result, and then there were given me cautions that if Elder Daniells without respect to the outcome should thus be impressed and let himself believe he was under the inspiration of God, skepticism would be sown among our ranks everywhere, and we should be where Satan would carry his messages. Set unbelief and skepticism would be sown in human minds, and strange crops of evil would take the place of truth.—Manuscript 67, 1910, 1-8. {20MR 21.3}

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

December 1, 1988.


b.c. Before Christ

5 5 The date of the “league” was actually 161 b.c. The “666” does not indicate years, but is the numerical designation of a name. The ten-horned beast of Rev. 13, not the one with the two horns, symbolizes the papacy.

a.d. Anno domini

pp. pages

p. page

ibid. ibidem, "in the same place"


6 For a more complete discussion of the development of the two views, see “Daily” in the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia.

Boldface numerals represent the b.c. equivalent of the Jewish regnal years in the corresponding Scripture references. Dates followed by (?) are only suggestive.

d. died

Heb. Hebrew

ed. edited, edition, editor

ch. chapter

c. circa, “about”

chs. chapters

vs. verses

v. verse

[1]Nichol, Francis D.: The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 4. Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1978; 2002, S. 63

pp. pages

ed. edited, edition, editor

vols. volumes

Vol. volume

[2]Nichol, Francis D.: The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 4. Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1978; 2002, S. 76