Daniel’s Prophecies About The Destruction Of The Temple In Jerusalem

In 553 BC, during the third year of Belshazzar’s reign, Daniel was shown a vision about 4 beasts which were revealed to be 4 World Kingdoms (Daniel 8). In the vision, Archangel Gabriel confirmed that these were the kingdoms of the:

  • Medes and Persians (fulfilled in 549 – 330 BC).
  • Greeks (fulfilled in 330 – 63 BC) and
  • Rome (fulfilled 63BC – 476 AD).

Daniel foretold the TIMING of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem

In the vision, Daniel saw that the sanctuary or Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed (Daniel 8: 11-12). These are the details of the destruction:

  1. It would take place during the 4th kingdom, which was represented as a beast with horns.
  2. This kingdom had a little horn (king) which overpowered other 3 horns on the head of the beast.
  3. The little horn would become great and cast down some of the host and stars of heaven to the ground. This is symbolic of the persecution of Abraham’s descendants (Jews and Christians).
  4. The little horn destroyed the sanctuary.
  5. This little horn matched a horn on the 4th beast in the previous vision of Daniel 7. This beast in Daniel 7 had 10 horns initially. Four of these horns became mighty, but one superseded the others (Daniel 8: 19 – 21).

Archangel Gabriel said that 2300 days would elapse between the destruction and cleansing of the temple

In the vision, a “certain saint” asked Archangel Gabriel how much time would elapse between the destruction and the cleansing of the temple. Archangel Gabriel responded that the sanctuary would be cleansed in “two thousand and three hundred days” (Daniel 8: 8-14).

Does Daniel’s prophecy refer to the abomination by Anitochus 1V (168 BC) and subsequent cleansing by Judas Maccabees in 166 BC?

Some writers have attributed this prophecy to the desolation of the temple by Syrian King Antiochus 1V in 168 BC. Antiochus conquered Jerusalem and polluted the temple. He entered the Holy of Holies; sacrificed animals on the altar and sprinkled the building with water in which flesh had been boiled. He also dedicated the Temple to his god Jupiter, erected his statue and robbed the temple of its treasures (Wikipedia.com).

Two years later in 166 BC, Judas Maccabees led a revolt against Antiochus. The Maccabees destroyed pagan altars in the villages, circumcised children then conquered Jerusalem. They cleansed the Temple, reestablished traditional Jewish worship and installed Jonathan Maccabee as high priest (wikipedia.com).

However, 4 KEY elements DO NOT match the prophecies:

  • First and foremost, Antiochus 1V conquered Jerusalem during the Greek Empire.
  • Antiochus ruled during the 3rd kingdom (Greece) seen by Daniel in the vision.
  • The desolation and abomination in the vision took place during the rule of the 4th kingdom or Rome.
  • Therefore, the prophecy had not been fulfilled at the time of Antiochus 1V.

Archangel Gabriel later gave Daniel additional information about the TIMING of the destruction.

This vision was given in 539 BC during the first year of King Darius. Archangel Gabriel had come in response to Daniel’s intercessions for the release of the Jews from the 70 year captivity prophesied by Jeremiah. The Archangel gave Daniel further information about the destruction and desolation. These are 6 important factors related to the timing of the event:

  • Jerusalem would have been rebuilt
  • The Messiah would have put in appearance on earth
  • There would be an attempted assassination of the Messiah (King Herod murdered children 2 years and under, but Joseph had been warned to escape with Him to Egypt).
  • A prince would war against the city destroy Jerusalem and the sanctuary (Daniel 9: 24 – 27).
  • Jerusalem was entirely destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD after laying siege on the city.
  • In 135 AD, the Jews acknowledged Simon Bar Kobka as Messiah, but the Roman destruction had already taken place 65 years earlier (wikipedia.com).

Jesus also spoke about the prophecy and painted grim a picture about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple

During the last week of His life, Jesus also confirmed Daniel’s prophecy about the total destruction of the temple and “abomination of desolation” foretold by Daniel (Matthew 24: 2 & 15; Mark 13: 2 & 14).  The Lord wept over the city and painted a grim picture about its desolation. He foretold that their enemies would surround the city, dig a trench around it, prevent anyone from exiting; destroy the  city to the ground and would not leave one stone lying on the other (Luke 19: 41 – 44). This prophecy was fulfilled in 70 AD. The Romans cast down all of the stones as they searched for gold and not one stone was left lying on the other.

The TWO KEY elements that match Daniel’s prophecy are its:

  • fulfillment after the Messiah
  • Fulfillment during the 4th Kingdom in the vision (Roman rule).

More to come!