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My Friend Are You Baffled By The Numbers In Daniel?

by Dr. Henderson Ward  
4/08/2017 / Christian Living

The Bible has many numbers that are significant to the believer, and many of those numbers are in the book of Daniel. If numbers baffle you, and let’s be honest, numbers do make us think a bit deeper than normal, then you should tread carefully when reading apocryphal literature, like the book of Revelation, that is littered with noteworthy numbers.

Many people have drawn up lists of what they regard as significant numbers in the Bible, with one website listing the following numbers:

1  -  2  -  3  -  4  -  5  -  6  -  7  -  8  -  9  -  10 - 11  -  12  -  13  -  14  -  15  -  16  -  17  -  18  -  19  -  20 - 21  -  22  -  23  -  24  -  25  -  27  -  28  -  29  -  30  -  31  -  33 - 34  -  40  -  42  -  44  -  50  -  65  -  70  -  120  -  153  -  200 - 390  -  400  -  430  -  444  -  490  -  666  -  1000

On this list has been omitted significant numbers like 144, 1260, 1290, 2300, to mention a few, and other lists contain some other significant numbers not shown above. 

Some people believe that the numbers in the Bible have deeper prophetic or spiritual significance, and that there are hidden concepts and meaning hidden in these numbers that only a few special people can grasp. This sounds to me like the very thing Paul fought against, and the early church labelled it Gnosticism.

Let me state boldly here and now that I do not believe in numerology, or Christian (Biblical) numerology, just as I do not believe in astrology, and I do not say this by way of apology; because no apology is needed. If perchance you believe in numerology, then that is up to you, and if you believe in all the star signs, and horoscopes purporting to tell you about your fortunes, etc., then you must see things rather differently than from a Christian perspective.

I like, and agree, with how one observer, on a blog, put it as regards numerology:

“Some preachers like to preach that numbers in the Bible have a "symbolic meaning" - but what they really mean is that numbers have a "secret meaning". Some people love this "secret knowledge" hook when it is associated with religion, and a lot of preachers realize this and use the "symbolic meaning of numbers" as one of their "secret knowledge" hooks to take advantage of religious people.”

Many people get fanciful ideas about these Bible numbers, but in truth these numbers when read in context, and properly understood, are just what they are at face value and nothing more.

Nevertheless, there are some important numbers in Daniel that needs explaining because some people get a little stumped when dealing with these numbers.

I am referring specifically to the numbers 1260, 1290 and 2300, and here are the scriptures referring to these numbers:

“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 sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” (Daniel 8:13-14)

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 hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” (Daniel 12:11-12)

All the scriptures above are referring to the same time, a time associated with the last week of the 70 weeks mentioned in Daniel thus:

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:24-27)

Daniel 9:24-27 was given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel, after Daniel prayed and asked God about the future of Israel. Daniel had read that Jeremiah had said that Israel would be taken captive by Babylon, and would be in captivity for 70 years, and that period of captivity was nearing completion.

The angel Gabriel made it clear to Daniel that:

  1. 70 weeks had been decreed for the Jewish people until Israel was established as God’s final realm, verse 24. (In prophecy 1 week is taken as 7 years, so 70 weeks amount to 490 years)
  2. 69 weeks would pass from the time the Jewish people were released from captivity and rebuilt Jerusalem until their Messiah came, verse 25. (69 weeks  amount to 483 years. The proclamation by  Cyrus the Great in 539 B. C. was the official start date of Israel’s restoration.)
  3. After 69 weeks, the Messiah would be “cut off” and Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed. This would be followed by a gap of time characterized by wars and desolations, verse 26.

The “prince who is to come” (the Antichrist) would make a covenant with “many,” including Israel, for “one week” (the 70th week). Halfway through the week, the Antichrist would break the covenant and end Jewish sacrifices. He would cause the abomination in the Temple, and great desolation until God destroyed him, verse 27.

All that Gabriel told Daniel happened exactly as forecast; the Medio-Persians defeated the Babylonians and their ruler, Cyrus the Great, freed the Jews to return to Jerusalem in the year 539 B.C. At the appointed time, Jesus the Messiah was born which equates to 483 years from the time Jerusalem was rebuilt. (The Temple rebuilding started in 536 B.C., then there was a break of approximately fourteen years. The Temple rebuilding recommenced in 520 B.C. and finished 516 B.C. The Walls around Jerusalem were not restored until Nehemiah arrived to start the work in 445 B.C.)

After Jesus was crucified (some say not AD 33, but four years earlier), the Temple was destroyed in AD 70, and we are currently awaiting the Tribulation.        

Presently, we are at the indefinite-length-of-time stage preceding the final week, the 70th week, characterized by wars and desolations, as per verse 26; according to Gabriel’s explanation at number 3 above.

The last week of natural time on earth is the Tribulation, a period of 7 years, also known as Daniel’s 70th week, and our three numbers refer to this period. Here are the numbers:

Daniel 8:14 (2300 days, 1150 evenings, 1150 mornings (according to the original Hebrew), thus 1150 days, not 2300 as the KJV) therefore 3 years, 2 months, 10 days; in prophecy we always figure 30 days to a month--as in the Jewish calendar.

Daniel 12:11 (1290 days) thus 3years, 7 months.

Daniel 12:12 (1335 days) - 3 yrs., 8 months, 15 days

We know that the Anti-Christ makes a covenant with Israel in the first part of the Tribulation, permitting them to worship in the Temple. In the middle of the Tribulation, after 3 ½ years, he breaks the covenant with Israel and seeks to destroy them all.

The verses we are looking at in Daniel, Chapter 8 and Chapter 12, are in reference to the last 3 1/2 years of the 7-year Tribulation Period, known as the Great Tribulation.

First. The 1335 days will finish at the return of the Messiah, but we are not sure when it will begin, i.e. there is no date specified in scripture for its commencement.

Second. The 1290 days will finish at the end of the Tribulation, and the difference between the two, i.e., 1335 – 1290 = 45 days. These 45 days are symbolic of us not knowing the exact time when our Lord comes again as per the scripture, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.(Matthew 24:36)

Third. The discrepancy between the 1150 days of Daniel 8:14 and 1290 days of Daniel 12:11, with both referring to the same time period, can be accounted for in yet another explanatory scripture; thus, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:22), the days will be shortened by 40 days for the elect's sake.

The most important number of them all is not here mentioned, but it is a number no man can count, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands” (Revelation 7:9). It is your solemn duty, as a believer, to make sure you are numbered among them.

Enough said.

Books by this author you may wish to read.

Volume 1 – Five tough facts to be faced

Volume 1 – You must first identify him




Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2017

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