The Incredible Six Day War and Daniel's 2300 Day Prophecy!
In 1967 the state of Israel defeated the combined armies
and air forces of the surrounding Arab nations in Six Days
that shook the world. Was this incredible victory foretold in the pages of Bible prophecy? In 1984, God revealed to
me the most amazing and mind-boggling keys to understand-
ing Daniel's enigmatic and mysterious prophecy of the "2300
days" ("evenings and mornings") found in Daniel, chapter
William F. Dankenbring
In June of 1967 the world was astounded as in Six Days, the small nation of Israel demolished and devastated the combined land and air forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, recapturing the Sinai, the Golan Heights, the West Bank of the Jordan River, and the Old City of Jerusalem. The War that shook the world -- the unbelievable war -- the incredible victory -- was reminiscent of the miraculous Victory of the United States at Midway during World War II, when in five fateful minutes the U.S. fleet --vastly outnumbered by the Japanese vessels five to one -- destroyed and sank Japan's four premier aircraft carriers, changed the course of the War, and blunted Japan's aggression in the Pacific.
Similarly, in the Six Day War, against seemingly hopeless odds, in less than three hours the Israeli air force destroyed three hundred Egyptian aircraft on the ground, losing only 3-4 planes in the bargain.
When Jordan entered the war, the Israelis attacked with a vengeance To many, it was like the "day of the Lord" in Biblical prophecy. Quickly, the West Bank was seized from Jordanian forces, and the Old City of Jerusalem, from which Jews had been expelled during the time of Emperor Harian in 135 A.D., once again fell into Jewish hands. The news rang out in Israel -- "HAR HA'BAYIT B'YADENU!" "The Temple Mount is in our hands!" Throughout Israel, there was a spontaneous burst of incredible joy and exultation -- newly-weds embraced, mothers hugged children, fathers and sons danced, comrades in arms shouted with glee, everywhere Jews embraced, danced and sang: "This is the day the LORD hath made . . ." David Ben Gurion, Prime Minister of Israel, said in a quavering voice, "This is the greatest day of my life!"
It was truly a Day of Nissin v'niflaot -- "miracles and marvels"!
At the time, Herbert Armstrong, head of the Worldwide Church of God, and an avid student of Bible prophecy, was dazzled, dumfounded.
In the pages of The Plain Truth, he wrote triumphantly: "This is one of the major fulfillments of Bible prophecy!" ("Personal," June 1967 issue). Was it? But in all the excitement of the time, no one seemed to know precisely which Bible prophecy this amazing Israeli victory on the battlefield fulfilled!
After having been exiled from Jerusalem for some 1832 years, it seemed like a dream come true. Once again Jewish feet trod on the holy places of Zion! The enemies of Israel were vanquished in six days! Who jcould believe it? Surely the hand of the Almighty was evident in this spectacular victory and momentous epic event!
Could Bible prophecy overlook such a pivotal and critical event? The answer is a breath-taking "No." Not at all! Let's take a new look at the prophecies of Daniel.
The Shaggy Goat and the Ram
In the book of Daniel the prophet is a most puzzling prophecy that has dumfounded Biblical students and researchers for thousands of years. It is found in chapter 8. We read: "In the third year of King Belshazzar's reign, I, Daniel, had a vision . . . In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. I watched the ram as he charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against him, and none could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.
"As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between his eyes came from the WEST, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. He came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at him in great rage. I saw him attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering his two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against him; the goat knocked him to the ground and trampled on him, and none could rescue the ram from his power. The goat became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven" (Dan.8:1-8).
The archangel Gabriel explains to Daniel the basic meaning of this vision. In verse 20, he says, "The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia" -- that is, the Persian Empire. "The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king" -- that is, Alexander the Great. "The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power" (vs.20-22). After the death of Alexander by fever in Babylon, his natural brother and two sons were murdered. The kingdom was therefore divided up between Alexander's four top generals, with Seleucus obtaining Syria and Babylon in the east, Cassander ruling Greece and Macedonia in the west, Ptolemy ruling in Egypt to the south, and Lysimachus ruling over Thrace, Cappadocia, and northern Asia Minor in the north.
This prophecy was amazingly fulfilled. Alexander's forces -- composed of 30,000 mobile cavalry -- moved so rapidly it was as if they traveled "without touching the ground" (v.5). He attacked the Persians with fury and unheard-of violence, representing the concentrated wrath of Greece against the Persians because of previous Persian invasions of Greece and the cruelty they had shown, as well as Darius's attempts to seduce Alexander's soldiers to treachery. In the Greco-Persian battles, Adam Clarke tells us in his commentary:
"The conflicts between the Greeks and the Persians were excessively severe. Alexander FIRST vanquished the generals of Darius, at the river Granicus, in Phrygia; he next attacked and totally routed Darius, at the straits of Issus, in Cilicia; and afterwards at the plains of Arbela, in Assyria. One can hardly read these words, says Bishop Newton 'the ram -- which I had seen standing by the river, ran unto him in the fury of his power,' without having the image of Darius' army STANDING AND GUARDING THE RIVER GRANICUS; and of Alexander on the other side, with his forces plunging in swimming across the stream, and rushing on the enemy, with all the FIRE AND FURY that can be conceived" (Clarke's Commentary, vol.1, p.597).
The date of Alexander's world-changing, bench-mark invasion of Asia was 334 B.C. Thus the date of the vision of the shaggy goat smashing the two-horned ram begins with this incredible victory of the Greeks over the Persian army in 334 B.C.
But after Alexander's lightning-like conquests, he mysteriously died in Babylon and his kingdom was divided. The prophetic vision of Daniel 8 then continues: "Out of one of them [the four horns or kings that divided up the Empire] came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. Because of REBELLION, the host of the saints, and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.
"Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, 'How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled -- the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot?'
"He said to me, 'It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated'"(Dan.8:9-14). What is the real meaning of this strange vision?
The Role of Antiochus Epiphanes
All Bible students and commentators recognize that the "little horn" that grew up and became powerful, and which invaded the Holy Land, took away the daily sacrifice and desolated the Temple of God in Jerusalem, was Antiochus Epiphanes, the king of Syria. His empire spread across the whole Middle East, and he hated the religion of the Jews. Says the Critical, Experimental Commentary by Jamieson, Fausett and Brown:
"This horn is explained (v.23) to be 'a king of fierce countenance,' etc. Antiochus Epiphanes is meant. Greece, with all its refinement, produces the first -- ie., the Old Testament ANTICHRIST. Antiochus had an extraordinary love of art, which expressed itself in grand temples. He wished to substitute Zeus Olympius for Jehovah at Jerusalem. Thus, first, heathen civilization from below and revealed religion from above came into collision. Identifying himself with Jupiter, his aim was to make his own worship uni- versal (cf. v.25 with ch.11:36): so mad was he in this that he was called Epimanes (maniac) instead of Epiphanes (illustrious). None of the previous world rulers . . . had systematically opposed the Jews' religious worship. . . . He is the forerunner of the final Antichrist, standing in the same relation to the first advent of Christ that Antichrist does to His second coming" (vol.1, p.427).
The prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled to the very letter. Many in Israel were adopting Hellenistic customs, erecting theaters, gymnasiums, began regarding all religions as alike -- much like our modern western world and its new-found thrust for "church unity" and respect for all religions. Jews sacrificed to God, but also send money to pay for sacrifices to Hercules. In the book of Maccabees, we read: "Many also of the Israelites consented to his [Antiochus'] religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the Sabbath" (I Macc.1:20-53).
The Critical, Experimental Commentary continues the story of Antiochus:
"Returning from Persia Antiochus came to Ecbatana, after having been put to flight by the people of Persepolis. 'Swelling with anger he thought to avenge upon the Jews the disgrace so done to him, and threatened proudly that he would come to Jerusalem and make a common burying-place of the Jews. . . . He not only opposes God's ancient people, but God Himself. The daily sacrifice -- one lamb was offered in the morning and another in the evening (Exo.29:38,39). was taken away -- by Antiochus" (ibid.).
The first book of Maccabees tells us the details: "The King forbad burnt offerings and sacrifice and drink offerings in the temple, and [ordered] that they should sacrifice swine's flesh . . . Now in the fifteenth day of the month Kislev, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar . . . and they did sacrifice upon the idol-altar, which was upon the altar of God" (I Macc.1:20,24,54, 59).
These calamities were directly due to the rebellion of many Jews to the laws of God and a widespread apostasy afflicting the land. The first book of Maccabees relates further: "In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, 'Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us . . . Whereupon they built a place of exercise (a school) at Jerusalem, according to the customs of the heathen; and made themselves uncircumcised and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to do mischief" (I Macc.1:11-16).
The 2300 Days
In Daniel's vision, he saw one angel say to another that the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion, and the host being trampled underfoot, was to be "2300 evenings and mornings." To what does this enigmatic expression refer?
The Critical, Experimental Commentary gives us the historical answer. Notice!
"Unto two thousand and three hundred days -- lit., mornings and evenings, specified in connection with the morning and evening sacrifice. Cf. Gen.1:5. SIX YEARS AND 110 DAYS. This includes not only the three and a half years during which the daily sacrifice was forbidden by Antiochus (Josephus Belllum Judaicum, i, 1, sec.1), BUT THE WHOLE SERIES OF EVENTS whereby it was practically interrupted: beginning with the 'little horn waxing great toward the pleasant land,' and 'casting down some of the host' (vs.9-10); viz., WHEN IN 171 B.C., or the month Sivan . . . THE SACRIFICES BEGAN TO BE NEGLECTED, owing to the high priest Jason intro- ducing at Jerusalem Grecian customs and amusements -- the palestra and gymnasium; ending with the DEATH OF ANTIOCHUS, 165 B.C." (p.428).
In other words, the period of 2300 days meant literal days in the fulfillment which occurred during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. This was the period of APOSTASY or REBELLION which began in 171 B.C. and ended in 165 B.C. with the cleansing and restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem by the revolt led by Judas Maccabeus and his brothers. The period of wholesale apostasy lasted 6 years and 110 days -- or 2300 days.
The second book of Maccabees tells us, "Jason. . . labored underhand to be high priest . . . he forthwith brought his own nation to the Greekish fashion. . . . For he built gladly a place of exercise under the tower itself, and brought the chief young men under his subjection. . . . Now such was the height of Greek fashions, and and increase in heathenish manners through the exceeding profaneness of Jason, that ungodly wretch and no high priest; that the priests had no courage to serve any more at the altar, but despising the temple, and NEGLECTING THE SACRIFICES, hastened to be partakers of the unlawful allowance in the place of exercise, after the game of Discus called them forth" (II Macc.4:7-14).
What was so abominable about having a sports stadium near the Temple of God? Gymnastics, running, throwing, and athletics was not the problem as such -- but, as Werner Keller writes in The Bible As History, "True to the Olympic pattern, games were played COMPLETELY NAKED. The body could only be 'covered' with a thin coat of oil!" (p.313). Naked athletes, only a few steps from the Temple and the Holy of Holies, and in full view, must have been regarded as a moral outrage.
The First "Great Tribulation"
In 168 B.C. Antiochus plundered and desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem. Writes Werner Keller,
"The worship of Olympian Zeus was set up in the Temple of Yahweh. For taking part in any Jewish religious ceremonies, the traditional sacrifices, the sabbath or circumcision, the penalty was death. The holy scriptures were destroyed. This was the first thoroughgoing religious persecution in history" (The Bible As History, p.315).
The cutting off of the sacrifices lasted 3 1/2 years (see also Dan.9:27 and 12:7). Josephus declares in Wars of the Jews:
"He [Antiochus Epiphanes] also spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for THREE YEARS AND SIX MONTHS . . . Now Antiochus . . . compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcized, and to sacrifice swine's flesh upon the altar" (Bk.1, 1,1-2).
In Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus adds these points of fact:
". . . he ventured to break the league he had made. So he left the temple bare, and took away the golden candlesticks, and the golden altar . . . He also emptied it of its secret treasures, and left nothing at all remaining; and by this means cast the Jews into great lamentation, for he forbade them to offer those daily sacrifices which they used to offer to God, according to the law. And when he had pillaged the whole city, some of the inhabitants he slew, and some he carried captive, together with their wives and children, so that the multitude of those captives that were taken alive amounted to about ten thousand. . . . And when the king had built an idol altar upon God's altar, he slew swine upon it, and so offered a sacrifice neither according to the law, nor the Jewish religious worship in that country. He also compelled them to forsake the worship which they paid their own God, and to adore those whom he took to be gods; and made them build temples, and raise idol altars, in every city and village, and offer swine upon them every day. . . . but the best men, and those of the noblest souls, did not regard him . . . on which account they every day underwent GREAT MISERIES [a type of the Great Tribulation to come!] and bitter torments: for they were whipped with rods, and their bodies were torn to pieces, and were crucified, while they were still alive and breathed: they also strangled those women and their sons whom they had circumcised, as the king had appointed, hanging their sons about their necks as they were upon the crosses. And if there were any sacred book of the law found, it was destroyed . . ." (Ant., Bk.XII, V, 4).
The period of the abomination of desolation itself -- when the Temple itself was defiled -- lasted exactly three years, from Kislev 25, 168 B.C. to Kislev 25, 165 B.C. Josephus tells us,
"Now it so fell out, that these things [the restoration of the Temple by Judas Macca- beus and his army] were done on the VERY SAME DAY on which their divine worship had fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use, AFTER THREE YEARS' TIME; for so it was, that the temple was MADE DESOLATE by Antiochus, and so continued for THREE YEARS . . . And this desolation came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel, which was given four hundred and eight years before . . ." (Ant. XII,VII, 6).
This prophecy came to pass, just as Daniel foretold it over four hundred years previously! But that is not all. As most Bible students are well aware, Bible prophecy is often DUAL! There is often a previous forerunner fulfillment, and there will be a final, climactic END-TIME fulfillment as well! Daniel was actually told by the angel Gabriel, "Son of man, understand that the VISION concerns the TIME OF THE END" (Dan.8:17). Antiochus Epiphanes lived 165 years before Christ's coming the first time. He did not live during the true "time of the end." Therefore, his fulfillment of these cryptic Biblical passages was only as a TYPE -- a FORERUNER -- of the true apocalyptic END TIME fulfillment to come in OUR DAY, today!
The Words of Ha Mashiach
In the Mount Olivet prophecy, Jesus Christ, who is the Messiah, whom the Jews await as "ha Mashiach," foretold that just before His Second Coming, events would parallel the apostasy and events during the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. He foretold a time of great and widespread apostasy (Matt.24:4-5, 12-13), as well as military invasion, occupation, and Great Tribulation (vs.21-22) such as the world has never before seen! Daniel prophesied of this same cataclysmic "end time" (Dan.12:1-2).
Jesus said of those coming days, "So when you [His servants living at this end-time!] see standing in the HOLY PLACE [the rebuilt Temple of God in Jerusalem] the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel -- let the reader understand -- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains" (Matt.24:15). Once again the Temple of God will be defiled and polluted by the End-Time "Antichrist" -- the Beast of Revelation (Rev.13:2-5; 11:2) -- the "Man of Sin," or "Son of Perdition" (see II Thess.2:4-10). This "beast," like Antiochus, will also trample the holy city of Jerusalem for forty two months, or 1260 days -- which is three and one half years! Thus the tyranny and cruelty of Antiochus Epiphanes was an EXACT DUPLICATE of the End-Time fulfillment to come -- even to the exact length of the occupation of Jerusalem and the cutting off of the daily sacrifice!
This suggests, also, therefore, that the 2300 days which were fulfilled by the apostasy lasting six years and 110 days in the time of Antiochus was also an EXACT TYPE of an End-Time, latter day fulfillment to come! When will these 2300 days of APOSTASY and rebellion against the truth of God be fulfilled?
Many Scriptures, as well as ancient Christian traditions, and Jewish writings, tell us that God is working out a 6,000 year plan with mankind on this earth. Even as the week has seven days, and the final day is the Sabbath rest, even so God has given the nations of the earth "six" days of 1,000 years each -- or 6,000 years -- to rule the earth and do his own "work" -- after which God will intervene and impose the "seventh day" Sabbath rest of 1,000 years (see II Pet.3:8-10; Rev.20:4).
Exacting Biblical chronology shows us that Adam and Eve were created 4004 B.C. That means that the end of 6,000 years would be in the fall of 1997 A.D., at the Feast of Trumpets, most likely (the beginning of the Jewish civil year). However, the book of Jubilees tells us that Adam and Eve did not sin until after completing seven years of blissful existence in the garden of Eden. They did not come under Satan's influence, as the "god of this world" (II Cor.4:4) until 3997 B.C., therefore. As Creation occurred in the fall, the end of 6,000 years would also occur in the fall of the year. If we count from this date, the 6000 years of man's misrule of earth, under Satan's influence, does not end until the fall, or the Feast of Trumpets, Tishri 1, 2003 A.D. Since the JUBILEE YEAR actually begins with Yom Kippur, or Tishri 10, then perhaps this is the date of the coming of Christ and the blowing of the "last trumpet" (see Lev.25:8-13).
The date the final 2,300 day apostasy period begins, then, should be 2300 days before the Second Coming of Christ, or very likely Tishri 1, 2003 A.D., or Tishri 10, 2003 A.D. At this time He will "END" the Great Apostasy. Thus the 2300 days of final "out-and-out apostasy" would begin 2300 days before this time, if our understanding is correct. It woud actually begin either 10 or 20 days after the Feast of Shavuot in A.D. 1997! (Shavuot or Pentecost is June 11, 1997).
If this final end-time scenario is true, and the time frame is accurate, then we would expect the final 42 months or 3 1/2 years of Great Tribulation to begin about the Feast of Passover, in the spring of 2000 A.D. -- just three years from now!
Daniel's "70th week" of the 70 weeks prophecy, found in Daniel 9:24-27, or the final "seven years" of this present age, before the return of the Messiah, would have begun in the fall of 1996, at the Feast of Trumpets (Civil New Year's Day in the Jewish calendar). We have already passed that point in time!
This final time of "Great Apostasy" will be so bad in terms of deception and the power of evil to delude the masses, that Jesus Christ warned, "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved [alive]; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!' or `There!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I told you beforehand" (Matt.24:22-25, NKJV).
The Incredible End-Time Apostasy
The apostle Paul also foretold this Great End-time Apostasy. He wrote, "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the FALLING AWAY comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition . . . The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong dfelusion, that they should believe THE LIE, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thess.2:3-12, NKJV).
The New Testament in Contemporary English has this passage in vivid detail, as follows:
"Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan. He'll defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he'll then set himself up in God's Temple as `God Almighty.' Don't you remember me going over all this in detail when I was with you? Are you memories that short? . . . .
"The Anarchist's coming is all Satan's work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake, evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them. And since they're so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it -- gives them what they want. Since they refuse to trust truth, they're banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions."
The Amazing Panoramic Prophetic Fulfillment
This End-time Apostasy has already begun. It is already at work. As Paul foretold, "You will also remember that I told you the Anarchist is being held back until just the right time. That doesn't mean that the spirit of anarchy [lawlessness, rebellion against God's Law, antinomianism, or "Apostasy"] is not now at work. It is, secretly and underground. But the time will come when the Anarchist will no longer be held back, but will be let loose. But don't worry. The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away."
However, there is another and most important fulfillment of this extremely important prophecy of Daniel's 2300 days proophecy which we have not mentioned, yet.
It is commonly understood that there is a "day for a year" principle in understanding Biblical prophecy. That is, often when the Bible says a "day," the interpretation of prophetic fulfillment is a "year," or a "prophetic year" of 360 days. For example, when the Israeli spies searched out the land of Canaan for forty days, and then returned to Moses with a negative report, saying the children of Israel were not strong enough to overcome the inhabitants of the land, God was furious with their lack of faith. So He said to them, "For FORTY YEARS -- one year for each of the forty days you explored the land -- you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you" (Num.14:34).
This same principle of a day for a year is illustrated by Ezekiel the prophet. God told the prophet, "Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. I have ASSIGNED you the SAME NUMBER OF DAYS AS THE YEARS of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the house of Israel. After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the house of Judah. I have assigned you forty days, A DAY FOR EACH YEAR" (Ezek.4:1-6).
Taking this principle, then, Daniel heard the question of HOW LONG would it take for the VISION he saw in Daniel 8 to be fulfilled, or accomplished -- from beginning to end. That is, from the beginning moment when the Grecian "goat" attacked and pulverized the two-horned Persian "ram" -- till the END of the vision, when the "sanctuary" would be cleansed or restored, during the "TIME OF THE END" (Dan.8:17; also 8:13, and 5-7).
The prophesied "length" or duration of this vision was to be 2300 "days" (v13). Using the "day for a year" principle, we have therefore 2300 YEARS of fulfillment.
Since Alexander the Great attacked and conquered Persia at the river Granicus in 334 B.C., storming across the river with fury, thus changing the history of the world from that moment, with one world empire falling, and another rising -- we must count our time span of years from that very date. Beginning in 334 B.C., counting 2300 years, we come to the fascinating year of 1967 A.D.
-334 B.C. -- year Alexander defeated Persians
1966 (but as there is no year "zero" we must add 1)
1967 A.D. -- year of Six Day War!
What happened in 1967 A.D.? How was this prophecy literally fulfilled? Let's review the incredible sequence of events that fulfilled this amazing Biblical prophecy!
The Miraculous Six Day War
Let the Worldbook Encyclopedia answer:
"UN troops prevented raids across the Israeli-Egyptian border after the 1956 war. But Arab raids continued from Syria and Jordan into Israel, and Israeli forces raided those countries in return. Border clashes increased greatly in the mid-1960's.
"In May 1967, Israel and the three Arab countries all alerted their armed forces for possible war. At Egypt's demand, the UN troops left the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptians then again closed the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli ships.
"On June 5, 1967, Israeli planes attacked airfields in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The Israelis destroyed the Arab air forces almost completely. Then they defeated the Arab armies. By June 8, Israeli troops occupied the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and Jordanian territory west of the River Jordan, including Jordan's half of Jerusalem. On June 10, Israel captured Syria's Golan Heights. The war was over in six days.
"When the brief war ended, the Israelis controlled Arab territory totaling more than three times the area of Israel itself. In June 1967, Israel officially made Jordan's half of Jerusalem a part of Israel" ("Israel," p.393).
This astounding war occurred exactly 2300 years from the pivotal battle between Greece and Persia that began Daniel's vision of the eighth chapter. This furious battle, like its predecessor 2300 years ago, was fought against overwhelming odds, and the outcome was decided by Divine Providence. Something occurred during this battle in 1967 which proves it was the terminus of this ancient prophecy. The Jews seized the Old City of Jerusalem, historic Jerusalem, and along with it THE SACRED TEMPLE MOUNT PRECINCTS, where history shows that Solomon's Temple, and the Second Temple, were both constructed!
In 70 A.D., Roman armies under Titus and Vespasian, conquered the Jews and destroyed the Temple. In 132-135 A.D., during the Bar Kochba rebellion, another generation of Jews rebelled against Rome -- after which Jews were BANISHED from Jerusalem and expelled from their homeland by the angry Romans who were furious that they had had to fight two fierce and costly wars with the Jews in a space of sixty two years. They were a shattered people. Hope of a Jewish Kingdom was annihilated -- destroyed. The period of Jewish exile -- the SECOND major exile in history -- was begun. It was a time of hopelessness, consternation, shame, and ridicule.
"Jerusalem was finally reduced to rubble and the harrow drawn across its former glories. In the new Roman city of Jerusalem no Jew was allowed to set foot more than once a year. The practice of Judaism was forbidden and even circumcision proscribed. Although the Jews remained in Pales- tine, there could be no further hope of a Jewish Kingdom" (The Six Day War, Churchill, p.2-3).
But now, incredibly, in 1967, for the first time since those ancient days, the Jews once again established Jewish CONTROL and sovereignty and authority over the TEMPLE MOUNT AREA OF JERUSALEM! Gentiles had ruled the region for almost two thousand years. Now, once again, it was under Jewish control -- and the way was once again prepared and opened for the BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE OF GOD!
When the Jews conquered the Old City of Jerusalem, wresting it from the hands of the Jordanians, feelings were at an incredible level. Winston S. and Randolph S. Churchill write:
"The Wailing Wall is supposedly the last remains of the Temple, destroyed by the Roman Emperor Titus in the year 70 A.D. As he stood beside it Dayan affirmed: 'We have returned to our holiest of holy places, never to be parted from it again.' Ben-Gurion, too, when he visited the wall declared, in a voice charged with emotion: 'This is the greatest day of my life" (ibid., p.141).
"Thus, by nightfall on Wednesday June 7, the Israelies had in their hands Jerusalem, the city of King David, Hebron, the city of Abraham, and all the Holy Land. Just a couple of weeks before, there were few Jews who would have believed they would see any of these places in their lifetime. For Jews the world over but particularly for those who had come to make their homes in Israel, this was the fulfillment of a hope of centuries" (p.147).
Is this astonishing victory for Israel in 1967 significant? A nation of 2 1/2 million put to rout the armies and military forces of Arab nations with a combined population of over 40 million. This was "a staggering achievement," in the words of Winston S. and Randolph S. Churchill. Colin Legum in The Observor called the Israeli victory "a miracle of arms" (ibid., p.194-195). He added that one of Israel's leading soldier-politicians remarked:
"The only analogy I can think of is if Britain had found herself in occupation of Berlin just three days after Dunkirk. The suddenness of the transformation from a situation of acute danger to unparalleled victory is too much for any people to absorb. It will take time to get over it" (ibid.).
On June 27 three laws were passed through the Knesset annexing the Old City of Jerusalem and reuniting it with the New City on the next day. Was this amazing Six Day War significant in relation to Biblical prophecy?
You bet it was!
Don't let anybody tell you differently! Since this prophecy was to relate to the "time of the end," this means that 1967 is a bellweather year -- a benchmark year that signifies the Biblical "time of the end." In other words, the FINAL GENERATION of this present world began in 1967. A generation is generally regarded as 30 or 40 years, Biblically speaking. Therefore, within 30-40 years beginning in 1967 this present Satanic, evil world should see its final eclipse and demise, and the establishment of the KINGDOM OF GOD!
Critics and Scoffers
Since I first published this astonishing discovery and fascinating Biblical fulfillment of prophecy, I have had very little in the way of real criticism. Almost all the criticism has come only from one group -- the Worldwide Church of God. This group claims that the 2300 "evenings and mornings" do not equal 2300 days, or years, but rather 1150 days. They accept the "day for a year" principle when applied to other prophecies, but reject it in this case, without giving any reason (I suspect they simple could not find any 1150 year period in history dealing with Daniel 8's prophecy which made any sense!).
According to the Worldwide Church of God, Antiochus Epiphanes did pollute the temple of God for three years, or, as one of their ministers claims, for 1080 days. This minister has speculated that an additional 70 days would make 1150 days, and this period he suggests was the period during which sacrifices were abolished before the final pollution of the temple.
That "hypothesis" may sound good to the uninformed, but it is nonsense. Josephus says the total period of time during which the sacrifices were abolished was three and one half years (or 1260 days, or 42 months) -- not 1150 days (Wars of the Jews, Bk.I, I, 1). The Critical, Experimental Commentary concurs with this assessment. Unfortunately, for the Worldwide Church of God case, there is simply NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT their cherished hypothesis -- no evidence whatsoever! Not even a scrap! It is just an "idea" someone dreamed up in order to maintain their foolish faith in a 1150 day prophetic interpretation. In other words, rather than just REPENT of their error, they will go to almost any lengths to justify and maintain their own conclusion, even when devoid of proof and bankrupt of evidence.
Actually, the Worldwide Church of God's idea that three consecutive Jewish years would equal 1080 days is also a mistake. Three years equalling 1080 days would mean each year was 360 days. But Jewish common years range from 353 to 355 days, with leap years being 383-385 days. There is no 360 day Jewish year. The Jewish calendar is a luni-solar calendar and each year is not the exact same length, as is the Roman calendar year of 365 days, except for leap year which is 366 days. With a period of three years there would have to be at least one, if not two, leap years, according to the Jewish calendar. Therefore, the shortest number of days would have been 1089 days, and the longest (with one leap year) would have been 1095 days.
This discussion is purely academic, however, for there is no evidence whatsoever that the sacrifices were banned for 61 days or 55 days longer than the "abomination of desolation" was in place and in effect, to give a total of 1150 days! But rather than confess and admit that their theory holds no water, and has no proof, Worldwide ministers attempt to "snow" the people who are not scholars and researchers, by parading what seemingly passes for "knowledge" -- but what is really pseudo-knowledge and pure fiction. Out west in cowboy country, they would call that sort of logic or reasoning, "buffalo chips"!
Interestingly, the Worldwide Church of God claims that the end-time abomination of desolation will last 1260 days, but claim that the similar abomination during the days of Antiochus was only 1150 days. They claim that in effect the prophecy of Daniel was was NOT DUAL, as most Biblical prophecies are. Yet Daniel himself in referring to the abomination of desolation refers to the period of 1260 days or three and one half times (Dan.12:7; 9:27), -- never 1150 days.
Also, Daniel never connects this abomination period alone with the 2300 days -- that period includes not only the abomination of desolation, but also the period of REBELLION and the stopping of daily sacrifices (Dan.8:13-14).
Herbert Armstrong's Own Words
Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God who died in January 1986, did not fully understand the amazing significance of the Six Day War in 1967. However, he knew in his heart it was very significant. He wrote in the "Personal" in the June 1967 issue of The Plain Truth:
"What is the real significance? The Israelis wan a flash war -- a blitzkrieg, Israeli style! The news reporters do not know what it means! The editors, broadcasters and commentators do not understand its real significance. The Israelis themselves do not know what it MEANS! But YOU can know! For this is one of the major fulfillments of Biblical prophecy!"
Herbert Armstrong went on:
"When One quoted as God foretells, 2500 years in advance, what is going to happen to every nation on earth of that time, and every principal city -- and through the years and the centuries IT HAPPENS! -- can you laugh that off with contempt? Can you ignore that with disdain?
"The news of the world has just recorded such a fulfillment -- yet almost nobody UNDERSTANDS!"
The most shocking thing of all is that the very successors of Herbert W. Armstrong, his own Church leaders to whom he gave the reins of power and government when he died -- they do not know or UNDERSTAND! They are just as ignorant, and blind, and dumb, and deaf, as the secular newscasters and mundane world media!
How tragic! I wrote up the shocking, wonderful new truth about Daniel's 2300 day prophecy in 1984, and sent copies to 20 different headquarters ministers. I wrote it up again in 1985, and sent copies to about 12 evangelists and leading ministers. I also sent copies to Herbert Armstrong, but he never got them. All the copies were ignored. Out of about 30 odd ministers, only one even commented we should get together for lunch sometime -- but he forgot it. One other sent me a brief one page letter, saying he found it "very interesting," but he didn't have time to pursue it further.
Seemingly, nobody was even interested. Nobody gave it to Herbert Armstrong -- they thought, perhaps, he was "too busy," or they didn't want to "disturb" him with any such article from me. I have always thought, however, that if he had a chance to read it, Herbert Armstrong might well have been thrilled and excited, and things might have worked out differently. But it was not to be. This truth was shelved, ignored, rejected, and nothing happened with it until after Herbert Armstrong died, and I published it myself in January 1987. The very Church founded by Herbert Armstrong, who in 1967 perceived that the Six Day War was an exciting "MAJOR FULFILLMENT OF BIBLICAL PROPHECY" disavowed any connection of that war with Biblical prophecy!
But in January 1987, when I finally published this amazing new truth through Triumph Publishing Company, the new "leadership" of the Church under Joseph W. Tkach took immediate action. Their "silence" turned into vicious hate and they "disfellowshiped" me for writing such things without their own personal "stamp of approval"! Can you believe it?
To me, the truth is plain and simple, for any who have eyes to see and ears to hear. But, alas, another prophecy is being fulfilled today, right before our very eyes, right in our very midst:
"The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will ASTOUND these people with WONDER UPON WONDER; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish" (Isa.29:13-14).
The Messiah quoted these exact words in reference to religious leaders of His day, and they are certainly germane for our end-time generation. The pseudo-scholarship of the "wise" will perish; the pseudo-intelligence of the "intelligent" will vanish away. The "vaunted leaders" of the end-time Church of God will be humbled, abased, humiliated and brought to shame. But those who are humble of mind and meek in heart, to them God will reveal the truth. "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have HIDDEN THESE THINGS from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure" (Matt.11:25-26).
Triumph Prophetic Ministries (Church of God)